Well, what is there to say about me? I'm kinda like your average gamer: I like to play games, I like to talk about games, and I hope to work in the video game industry one day. I also hope to write a couple of visual novels (I'm writing out the story as a novel at the moment, but I'll probably get down to it one of these days) but I should probably get my life together first.
I do tend to enjoy videogames more than the average gamer would though: videogames have been my life for as long as I remember so it's as much a part of me as my personality. I can't imagine giving this up.
I have a wide variety of taste when it comes to games as I try to keep an open mind about everything that comes out: just because I play mainstream games Halo and Call of Duty doesn't mean I can't enjoy the underrated ones like Anarchy Reigns, Fire Emblem, and the like. I'm willing to give anything a fair shot... provided that I actually get a chance to play it.
If you want to know more about me, you can check out my contribution to the "10 things about ourselves" blog, that Mr. Andy Dixon asked us all to write as well as any other personal blogs here:
I am also writing blogs about videogame themed doujinshi (yes, really). I'm just starting, so there aren't many written yet, but the few that are written can be seen here. If you enjoy these, feel free to message me on any recommendations, suggestions, or if one of the images I've chosen is too naughty. :P
A "Top Ten" list of my "Favorite Videogames of All Time" eh? Truth be told, as much as I entertained the idea, I never really wanted to make one of these: not only are there amazing games constantly coming out, but a lot of games I have enjoyed quite a lot have come and went in and out of my memories... so when I am thinking about the eligible candidates, it's hard to consider everything, especially since I can hardly remember what I had for dinner yesterday (I swear that it's leftovers... but that could also be deja vu!). Not only that, but I'm also a bit biased: I don't want all my games to be from one generation, or one system/handheld, so I feel like I need to change one game, which then ruins the integrity of my list. And that's not even considering that I believe a lot of "Top Ten" lists will come out the same... though I guess we'll know for sure when Solar Pony Django finishes his analysis of the community (major props to you!).
So, you know what, I'm making this list as my current "Top Ten Favorite Videogames of All Time", so that way, if I change my mind, then I can always make a new list... like Mass Effect's Mordin's stance on the Genophage: during Mass Effect 3, Shepard questions why Mordin, who helped created the "deadly" virus to the race of Krogans, regrets what he have done since he's also making a cure for it... to which he replies that he doesn't, because he believes the Genophage was the right decision at the time, and that now, the cure is the right decision at the moment, just like how I'm viewing this "Top Ten" list. Also, I'm fickle as fuck, so deal with it (I say this with love!).
Anyway, before I start this list off proper, I want to mention a couple of things: as a disclaimer, every game I've chosen on this list is a game that I might or might not have some kind of sentimental value towards. I say this because, while there are obviously some games that are so jaw-droppingly amazing that you would think I'm not sane enough to have played yet exclude, some games means more to me than others, and seeing as how this is my "Top Ten" list, then all the more reason that I have to tailor my list to me. That being said, there is one game I absolutely have to give an honorable mention to because, although I have never played it, I think I would absolutely love it.
Honorable mention: Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed (PS3)
When I first heard of the original Akiba's Trip back on the PSP, I knew that I had to import it: a game where you create yourself and run around Akihabara to strip vampires of their clothing while using wacky items to smack their resistance out of them was something of a dream of mine. While the technical aspects of the game was disappointing (the scale of the city felt too small and empty, and the loading screens are long and plentiful), and the fact that I couldn't read Japanese stopped me dead in my tracks to get any further than the first couple of missions... I love the novelty of the game. Aside from the art style and the ability to deck yourself out in dozens of clothing and dozens of weapons (ranging from umbrellas and toy swords to laptops and plasma screen TVs), the game was oozing otaku charm out of it: when you see ads for animes and companies during loading screens, and seeing anime posters plastered everywhere, really replicates all the pictures I've seen of Akiba.
I'm sure to love the second game. Not only is it in English, but there's English voice acting as well, and to me, that's a big thing. The combat looks better than before (I have a love/hate relationship with the original, where you had to fight against multiple enemies with a control scheme clearly made for 1v1 encounters) and even more frantic, with the ability to both have a partner and perform Unison Strips together (what an awesome friend)! The city looks bigger and, seeing some comparison photos, looks so close that, chances are, this is as close to Japan as I'm ever going to get. I also love games with decision-making and various paths, and I heard that one path allows you to get so close to your cute little sister that you get to take a bath together (brother-sister incest is my all-time favorite fetish... oh, don't give me that look: it's a game about stripping people in public and this is what weirds you out?)! If I ever update this list, this has to be on it.
Number 10 - The World Ends with You (DS/ iOS)
One thing I love about Feel the Magic: XX/XY (which did not make the cut) was how interesting it utilizes the Nintendo DS's full capabilities, but once I heard The World Ends with You had combat that has you control two separate characters on two separate screens, I was immediately interested: using the stylus, you would control the main character on one screen, and then control his partner with either the D-Pad or the face buttons (depending on whether you had the stylus in your left hand or right). Not only that, but it also used the microphone for certain attacks, and even use the internal clock system within the handheld itself: whenever you ate something for stats, you would need to digest it by doing battles, but you couldn't eat again until enough real-time has passed. Or, and ingenius enough, if you haven't played in a while, you get free XP to make up for lost grinding opportunities: this game thought of it all!
However, don't think gimmicks are the only reason it makes the list: the premise is interesting, as it stars a social outcast named Neku who involve a game where he must team up with a partner and succeed... or die within a week. That alone is pretty tense, but the twists and revelations throughout are pretty damn epic themselves, and some even hits directly in the feels; the nice bonus scenario that mocks the somber nature of the main game is a great epilogue as it contrasts from the main events. However, I can not talk about this game and not mention the awesome soundtrack is: a mix between English vocals and the original Japanese, the Jpop songs are catchy and fit the mood and atmosphere perfectly, and while I haven't bought the soundtrack for this game like I have with MadWorld and Anarchy Reigns, it's well worth Youtubing and downloading off of iTunes, which you can also download an iOS port of this game if it's still up.
Number 9 - Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
I never played the original games, but I had to take a chance with this one: Pit was one of my go-to characters in Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, and not only did the game seem fun, but the trailers made it as one of the funniest games out there, and as a big comedy-lover (Portal 2, unforunately, does not make it on this list), I had to play it. However, and embarassingly enough, the main thing that actually pushed me over the edge to buy it was that not only was Palutena such a beauty that I was absolutely smitten upon first sight (goddesses are, like, my 7th favorite fetish), but the fact that she was voiced by Ali Hillis (Liara from Mass Effect, Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII) made me so ectastic that you would think I was paying to sleep with her... which, I'm not gonna lie, I would do. Regardless, the game ended up being one of my favorite games, and one that I talk about constantly to anyone who is considering buying a 3DS.
While most people would disagree with the ground controls, which admittedly hurts my hands before I switched the camera control to the face buttons... the air portions of the game, as brief as they are, were reminiscent of Star Fox 64, and were so much fun. The entire game was great though: with a loot-based system, you could try to hunt down the best version of your favorite weapon, or fused others to get better stats, and with varying difficulties (based on numbers, from anywhere from 1.0 to 9.9, I believe), you can make it as easy or as tough as you need. The best part of the game is the story, with legitimate plot twists I didn't see coming (I can't even tell you how many chapters there are because that would ruin one of the best gags!), to the funny jokes and jabs voiced by some of the most energetic cast I've heard since Saints Row: The Third/ IV. If they announce a sequel, I could literally die at the mention alone (so don't tease me!).
Number 8 - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
The first Uncharted game, Drake's Fortune, was a pretty good adventure: while it didn't do anything amazing, the characters were great (Sully and Eddy Raja stood out to me), their interactions were better, and the game featured some of the prettiest graphics early in the PS3's lifespan. However, the sequel goes way beyond its predecessor by showcasing explosive moments and spectacular set-pieces, making the game look so busy and so fast-paced that it's often touted as an interactive blockbuster movie, and for good reason: the plot may not be overly complicated, but it's simple yet twisting and turning enough to surprise you, there's plenty of poigant moments sprinkled here and there, and it's a fun rompt from start to finish. It's so much like a movie that, once you start, chances are you aren't going to stop until the credits roll: yeah, it's that damn good, and while it lasts more than 120 minutes, it's gonna feel like much less.
Not only is the single-player of some decent length, it still manages to pack the lone disc with so much content that it could only be on Blu-Ray: collectibles are abundant, and they can be used to unlock things like concept art, character skins, cheat codes (hey, remember when we didn't pay for those?), and even behind-the-scenes videos, for those who are interested in how videogames are made. As someone who occassionally likes to watch these kinds of things after movies, the comparison between this game and a film is strikingly apt! I have, on numerous occassions, recommended this game to anyone looking to buy a PS3 or a game to go with it, and while I never got to see those people again, I like to believe that they made the right choice listening to me, and that they were drooling at the thought of playing the next game in the series once they finished (which is rightly deserved, seeing as Drake's Deception is a great installment).
Number 7 - Mass Effect 3 (PS3/ Xbox 360/ PC)
There's something about the final game in a "series" (in this case, the end of Commander Shepard's story) that fills me with anticipation and a depressing longing: I'll go through the game, wondering which characters are in it and what will be their final outcome, with the sad melancholy that this might be the last time I'll see them again. The idea that your choices from previous games could be carried over is an even better way to end the trilogy, as characters would reveal the consequences of your choices and their stances on your decision (playing through it again, because I used the very-limited Genesis 2 comic included with the Wii U edition, "I" destroyed a certain side-character's data, and now one of my favorite characters openly displays his suspicions of me... and that's before learning the fate of another beloved character as a result). For these reasons alone, Mass Effect 3 has become something more than just a game: it has become an experience, shaped by the choices you make, the words you say, and the bond between your brothers and sisters (huh: I'm suddenly reminded of my love for incest).
I'd said many times now how much I love the Indoctrination Theory and the Citadel DLC, but I can't help it because these two things have greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the trilogy. The Indoctrination Theory, as convoluted as it may be, makes the ending feel so much more nuanced than it seems (let's keep your debates solely on how much you hate my list, please :P)... but Citadel DLC was not only one of the funniest sections of the game, but it was the perfect way to end the series: in case you don't want to click the link provided, in short, Citadel allowed me to say goodbye to the characters we love by hanging out with them in one big party for one last time, and every Squadmate sans Legion (seriously, dude gets no love) makes an appearance. While I certainly didn't cry, as I was too busy laughing the whole time, I did get hit in the gut with enough feels at the end when I realized just how much I'll miss my teammates.
Number 6 - Pokemon Blue/Red (Gameboy/ Gameboy Color)
Maybe it's the nostalgic kid inside me (...), but I really love the original generation of Pokemon: even though I've got new favorites and old (one day, I'll make a list), the first 151 monsters hold a special place in my heart, and have been the basis of many dreams, fan-fictions, and desires to see in every Pokemon game. I couldn't tell you how excited I was when I heard you could get not only two starters in Pokemon Y/X, but that one of them is a Kanto starter: you'd think someone had successfully created a Pokemon and were giving one to me! Hell, the Pokemon Trainer in Super Smash Brothers: Brawl gave me wet dreams for months: not only is he the representative of the original Pokemon games, but you could switch between Ivysaur, Charizard, and my personal favorite Squirtle, in battle, and their Final Smash was them working together in unison! As you can tell, his exclusion makes me very sad (Charizard is cool, but Squirtle is king). :(
As for the game itself, it was one of the first "adventure" games (and JRPGs) that I've ever played that felt like a journey instead of going through segmented levels, even if it was still structured linearly, so I felt like there was a wide world to explore... not to mention dozens of Pokemon to collect and manage. Sure, the newer entries to the series have all significantly added and improved the game (Pokemon Silver/Gold had all these fancy new mechanics and we all fondly love Secret Bases in [Sapphire/Ruby), but the original was the start of it all to many, especially me, and the fact that I've replayed it so many times means that it's practically implanted into my brain: when Twitch Plays Pokemon first started, I spent hours watching it, living in old memories like an old man looking back (...in addition to seeing all of the fabulous fan followings that spawned, such as the Helix Fossil, the False Prophet, Bloody Sunday, and more).
Number 5 - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
As the only Wii U game on this list, you would think, since I recently bought and played this, that I'm putting this on the list because it's still so fresh in my mind, but that's not actually the case: the reason that I'm putting this on my list is because it's still fresh in my heart. See, I grew up playing Mario games, and while I regret not having played the Gamecube/ Nintendo Wii games (long answer short: I lacked time and funds), Super Mario 3D World combines the exploration and world design of Super Mario 64 (even has some of the animations, such as the backwards jump off the top of trees, or that weird "butt spank" running jump thing) and the linearity of the 2D games, and I love it for it: it doesn't feel as constricted as the 2D games, but it doesn't have a sprawling area to explore and get lost in (which, while I love that in an RPG... for a platformer with a timer, that's actually a good thing). Plus, like Super Mario USA, you can select from the same cast of characters, plus an awesome addition very late in the game!
Speaking of old games, this game takes the very best aspects of all of the Mario games (besides the epic showdowns with Bowser where you grab his tail and spin him around like a curling ball, Koopalings... and Yoshi!) and blends them together until it feels just right: from start to finish, I was in love with this game, and I collected more coins and stars than necessary, even a few stickers here and there, because I wanted to see how much of it I could complete, and so few games nowadays actually makes me want to do that. Plus, the levels and variety always kept me on my toes, and seeing some old obstacles to jump through or old enemies to fight (this game even has the Bullies from Super Mario 64!) made me nostalgic: when I first ran through the levels and saw the tanks similar to the one in Super Mario Brothers 3, it brought about feelings of amazement... and anger, because to this day, I could never get past that segment (thankfully, that's not the case here!). I could go on and on about the fireworks that accompanies flag poles, the warp pipes that lets you skip worlds, and the Tanooki Suit...
But hey, don't take my word for it: Chris Carter gave it a 10 out of 10, and we can all trust him.
You just did a double-take, didn't you? Couldn't believe that such a game could be on the list, especially so high up? Well, this game was so amazing to me that I couldn't not mention it: if you didn't click the link to one of the only few blogs I ever managed get promoted to front page, then know that ever since I saw it being played on E3, I knew that I have to play it, and the day it came out is the same day that I bought the Kinect for the Xbox 360; the fact that I never used the Kinect for any other game pretty much meant that I only bought the Kinect exclusively for this game. It looks so beautiful, the music sounds so entrancing, and it plays so well, that I immediately fell in love with the game, to the point that I felt like I was inside it... I felt like the world literally melted away and all there was was me and the screen, and the fact that I'm not holding a controller helped me lose myself into this dreamlike world of floating butterflies in space, or squidlike creatures of the sea.
Although motion controls can be looked at with such distain for good reason, as a lot of it is either unnecessary or boils down to pointless waggling, with few exceptions like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword or Dance Central (You want to defend motion control? Go write about it!), this game singlehandedly showed me that motion controls in videogames could prove to be benefical to the experience, making you feel even more immersed in a game when you're the one playing: switching hands to change the way you shoot makes it fun and more dynamic than pushing a button, and timing your "attacks" in sync with the beat allows you to mentally mute everything but the music, which is catchy and well worth listening to. As I said in my blog: if you could play this game with the Kinect but chose a controller instead, you are cheating yourself.
Number 3 - The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3)
Speaking of cheaters, yes: I did cop out and included a collection as a single game. So sue me. Anyway, if you couldn't tell by my personality, I'm something of a fantastical dreamer: I love beautiful imagery, from something surreal like a lone shooting star in the night sky, to something seen only in drawings like a girl slowly disintegrating into dozens of cherry blossom petals that get blown by the gentle breeze... so naturally, I feel drawn to games like these. Ico may take place in a dark castle, with shadow-like enemies trying to overwhelm you, but when you step outside and see the bright, glowing sun radiating off Yorda's soft, white skin as you hold her hand, the scene becomes something like a painting, and since the game utilizes no HUDs, it's much more beautiful to look at. By contrast, Shadow of the Colossus might be a little too bleak and grey, giving a heavy depressing tone (not a complaint), but when you ride your horse through a desert to jump off and land on a dragon's wing after shooting it down, there's nothing but sheer awe as it carries you through a sand storm hundreds of feet above the ground.
Even better than the imagery, which by how I made it sound, means it must be damn impressive... is the minimalist storytelling, where it's simple, yet subtle, and you're left to infer what just happened more or less on your own... so, pretty much, the videogame equalivant of indie films. Seriously though, the tale about Ico and Yorda is one of my personal favorites not because it satisfies a certain fetish of mine (coughstraightshotacough), but because the last part of the game is truly memorable (which, while I will not spoil, involves trying to get blood from stone...), and the story of Shadow of the Colossus is no slouch either, as the ending climaxes a certain gradually "change" that's been happening since the very first time you slay a colossus, and seeing the awesome twist at the end, as well as the tragedy that follows, is a heartwrenching blow. While both games originated as PS2 games, the HD collection is the best way to play (especially since it uses the PAL version of Ico) and seeing as how cheap and short it is, give it a go!
Number 2 - Grand Theft Auto V (PS3/ Xbox 360 - PS4/ Xbox One to be released)
"Grand Theft Auto V!? Boo! Hiss!" *throws chair*
Okay, you're probably wondering how Grand Theft Auto V could be anywhere near a list like this... but it deserves a spot since I spent dozens of hours in this game within the first week because I couldn't put it down: it was that awesome. Utilizing not one, not two, but three protagnists, Grand Theft Auto V manages to blow me away with its fun, silly single-player (a stark contrast to Grand Theft Auto IV's somber story) by having three different personalities come together in varying ways in other to help each other get rich. Switching between characters is simple yet amazing to look at everytime, and seeing them go about their daily lives when you're not playing as them is pretty cool: they'll sit at home and watch TV, finish eating lunch before complaining about it, or wake up in the middle of the mountains, wearing nothing but a dress, and having no mode of transportation. Speaking of views, one thing that impresses me is the draw distance: I don't know what kind of tricks they're using, but being able to fly a helicopter and see the city stretch for seemingly forever is pretty cool.
People say the best part of the game is creating havoc on the unsuspecting world, especially with cheat codes, but to me, aside from doing that odd "jump and ragdoll" thing that everyone loves to do (I'm not gonna lie, if it didn't outright kill people, I'd be doing it in real life)... the campaign had some pretty stellar moments, like shooting down gangsters and running from the cops after a drug deal gone wrong (in the Grove Street cul-de-sac, no less)! And obviously, the heists are a big attraction: sure, they're limited in both numbers and actual functionality, but the missions themselves are pretty cool to play through, and some of the later ones felt controller-gripping tense. Heck, one of heists pays tribute to the movie Heat whilst the other is a nod to the North Hollywood police shootout! The campaign impressed me so much with both its amazing setpieces, the solid satire that Rockstar is known for (I wish there was another Princess Robot Bubblegum episode), and the engaging storytelling that rarely, yet only occassionally, falls flat... that Grand Theft Auto V is one of the few games that lived up to the hype it built up, and then some.
Number 1 - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (PS2/ PSP)
I never played a Shin Megami Tensei game prior to this, so I didn't immediately rave about it by the name alone. However, when I read a preview about this one, I was immediately interested: playing as a student transferring to a new high school, you get tangled up in some dangerous affairs involving killing monsters and saving the world, which is pretty cool in itself... but the premise that you must do this and manage your daily life by going to school, keeping up with your studies, and even hanging out with friends, is a premise that I totally get behind. When I bought this game, the story has me hooked from start to "finish", and the school simulator, which has you raising stats like Academics and Charm to get good grades and become friends with other students, actually has me trying to figure out the best way to balance school life, and the fantasy life of getting strong enough to kill monsters... or even a part-time job, should I want the extra money: think of it as Final Fantasy with elements of The Sims mixed in.
While it certainly isn't perfect, and remains to be one of the most difficult games I've ever played (I actually haven't beaten it: I had to Youtube the rest, hence the "finished" part), I love everything about it: the cast of characters are cool and are well worth knowing more about (Social Links reminds me of short visual novel scenarios!), the art style is stylish enough to really stand out, the monster designs are very cool and oddly sexual-looking, and the gameplay innovates the turn-based combat with its "Once More" weakness-exploiting mechanic and the humorous but devastating "All Out Attack". The story, particularly the ending, really stands out to me: while I can't really divulge much about it without spoiling it (and since this is numero uno, I would want you all to play it unspoiled), it's something of a personal matter to me because... well, I want to actually write an entire blog about this, but this game acts like something of a "fantasy fulfillment" to me because... I was very lonely in high school, and the idea of hanging out with friends, whether we're studying for the test or going out to save the world (that also doubles as a test, I suppose), even in the virtual world, really meant a lot to me.
Well, that's my "Top Ten" list of videogames, and even if you don't agree, I hoped that I didn't bore anyone to tears! I'm aware that I'm leaving out some amazing games like The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection (which would've been a bigger cheat than number 3), and so much more, but with only 10 slots, I had to pick and choose from a wide set. In fact, while making this blog, I've actually written slots for several games, then deleted them to replace them with another... which, in hindsight, I should've saved those in case I ever wanted to make a list of "Top Ten games that didn't make the 'Top Ten Favorite Videogames of All Time' list".