Finally my Review in Progress series has reached double digits. About 2 – 3 games a month starting from February is not bad considering the amount of school work that went with it. A number of genres and platforms were covered, some familiar series’ and some entirely fresh games.
Of course, the impact of each game has yet to be quantified, so without further ado, I’m going to list the games I played in order from my least favorite to favorite, as a nice way to condense what games I recommend and in what order. Depending how well this goes, expect one summary/top 10 like this for every 10 Reviews in Progress.
This one’s a quickie and more of a catalog of articles that might have been missed to newcomers of The Wired Fish, so more detailed information, pictures and video clips can be found in the respective articles.
#10 – Okamiden (Review in Progress #4)
No, I never went back to playing Okamiden from where I was at the time of review. As a fan of the original, some of the changes were actually cool, such as the inclusion of partners that you could use to solve various puzzles. Unfortunately, most of the time you walk them around by drawing a path, it’s a slow hike to an out of reach treasure chest, and another line to return. Going for all the treasure in the dungeons was more tedious than it should have been as a result.
In short, the additions are poorly executed and elements carried over from the original were nowhere close to keeping my interest.
A second opinion was given by Steven offering different, and a more positive look on the game, check it out!
#9 Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom (Review in Progress #3)
The only other game out of the 10 that I never finished. The reason that it ranks higher is that some of the puzzles require a little more ingenuity. To be honest, I’m kinda sad that I lost interest playing the game, because it was so much fun up until the second boss came along (he’s a dick, and killing him is more about solving the problem of how to damage him). The bond between the two main characters was endearing, and it had a Nier like atmosphere to it, with a sort of civilized world destroyed and the decaying remains inhabited by monsters and the like.
Too many stump-worthy puzzles and my hard headed attitude to not look at a FAQ until all ideas are exhausted lead to a little more frustration than a normal player might endure, but I certainly recommend giving the game a chance.
#8 Pilotwings Resort (Review in Progress #6)
Don’t let the low ranking fool you, Pilotwings Resort was a pretty cool game while it lasted. Probably my favorite of the 3 launch 3DS games I purchased, it was an easy to pick up and play experience. I’m typically not a fan of mii involvement in my games, but somehow the inclusion didn’t detract from enjoying the island scenery and challenges.
What did bug me was the time limit in exploration mode, otherwise with its secret class, Pilotwings Resort gives a good incentive to master all the challenges and try to reach the benchmark for the three-star ranking. Stellar launch game and entry in the Pilotwings series.
#7 Final Fantasy II (Review in Progress #1)
The game that inspired my progressive approach to reviewing video games, a misnomer as many Reviews in Progress come out as full reviews right off the bat. Final Fantasy II suffers from an imbalance in combat emphasis. Originally, magic sucks while an all Melee party can carry you well into the 2/3 point with little trouble. The importance of magic doesn’t reveal itself until the last few dungeons where you can get royally fucked if you stuck with an original melee build; I had to spam spells like cure, blink, flare, protect, shell, aura to get them to a reasonable level.
Besides that, dungeon crawling is pretty fun and the story is both depressing and interesting the whole way through. Certainly not one of the bad games among the FF repertoire.
#6 Bulletstorm (Review in Progress #2)
With my faith in the FPS genre fading, it was great getting my hands on something less tactical where instead of taking cover at every barricade, I could just run (or slide) everywhere and shoot people like a dick. Not reasonable in a real fire-fight, but hell if it isn’t fun. Bulletstorm brought fast paced run and gun shooters back into the spotlight, and despite much controversy, it was a blast!
The multiplayer still hasn’t attracted me though. Depending how the PC mod scene looks in the near future, I might get a copy on steam or something to kill people online.
#5 Final Fantasy IV : The Complete Collection (Review in Progress #8)
The game in the series that everybody likes to remake or remaster, Final Fantasy IV remains a charm to play. For people who played the rest of the series to death, the pacing is fast enough that you can blaze through the story mode, and tackle some of the new additions (not so new if you played the GBA version). While the Interlude chapter was a waste of 3 hours, the change in character models/portraits between FFIV and The After Years was a subtle, but important change. The change might have been more obvious for the two of us who played The After Years via Wiiware, but it becomes clearer in this package where you’re more likely to play both games back to back.
This is the most complete version you can get of the FFIV saga, so it’s recommended to both veterans and newcomers.
#4 Pokemon White/Black (Review in Progress #5)
Pokemon games are pretty hit or miss these days. I was never a big fan of the second or third generation pokemon in particular. Thankfully, Pokemon White included an interesting set with more emphasis on combined type pokemon. There were a few here and there that scream goofy or shortage of ideas, but for the most part we had a pretty solid set from which most players can form a team that they like.
Team Plasma was a lot more fun than their name suggests, and the game was full of 3D effects that gave extra vigor to a series that many see as unable to keep up with current trends. If Nintendo keeps up, this is a sign that Pokemon could make it strong through quite a few more generations.
There is a second opinion courtesy of my buddy Prota. Give it a look if you’re interested in the game!
#3 Mortal Kombat (Review in Progress #9)
When it comes to fighting games, they typically are something I either love or hate. Capcom’s earlier fighters tend to find favor before their newer ones (my resentment toward MvC3 grows with each passing day). I like it old school and with less of a focus on combos. Fighting games I typically don’t play to win, but to put up a good fight, something hard to do when one slip-up and I’m juggled all over the arena.
Mortal Kombat surprised me, by not only feeling less stiff than earlier games of the series, but being smart enough to include a ton of content for the single player and a smaller amount of cheesy characters that can easily be patched over time. Watching a match is more entertaining because the screen isn’t cluttered with flashy lights and the visual chaos that other fighters have, the visual focus is where it should be, two people beating the shit out of each other.
This is a fighter I can see playing regularly with the guys.
#2 L.A. Noire (Review in Progress #10)
As hard as it is to describe just what it is that I love about the game, it left a strong impression by the time I finished it. The addition of DLC support guarantees that I will be returning to L.A. to solve even more mysteries, so hopefully Rockstar and Team Bondi release enough to keep the game going strong for a long time. I’m a sucker for investigation and for atmosphere, both of which are available here.
The game might have flaws and poor design choices here and there, but in the grand scheme of things, they don’t bug me very much.
#1 Legacy of Kain : Soul Reaver (Review in Progress #7)
I did just say I was a sucker for atmosphere, didn’t I? For me, Soul Reaver might be the oldest game up for review, but for me the impact was the strongest. This is the game whose music I listen to while falling asleep or thinking about the metaphysical. This is the game that has a world that begs for exploration, just to uncover the plethora of optional abilities. With optional areas the size of regular dungeons, and a more gothic theme that I tend to drift toward, this game was as hard to put down as it was to get over beating.
Although I am 12 years late to the party, Legacy of Kain : Soul Reaver was an unforgettable experience. Actually, I’m pretty glad I waited til now, my adolescent mind probably would have hated it.