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RenaudB90 avatar 9:17 AM on 11.24.2013  (server time)
The best 8 games of the last 8 years: Number 7

Holy shit I'm behind schedule on this! I blame work. And that new Zelda game.
Number 8

Your  ship has stumbled across a raving lunatic. He keeps rambling about the best 8 something.

----1. Arm your weapons and blow him away before he notices you
----2. Hail him over coms and tell him his choices suck
--->3. Stay a while and listen

Title FTL: Faster Than Light
Developer: Subset Games
Platform: PC (Win, Mac, Linux) iOS (coming soon!)
Original release date: September 14th 2012

You are the crew of a Federation starship. The rebels have taken over, and you must make an urgent delivery to the what remains of the Federation fleet if your side has any hope of victory. The rebels are hot on your heels, and you never know what new dangers await you just beyond your next jump.  At least in space, you can still hear this kickass soundtrack!

FTL has a lot going for it, in addition to that awesome soundtrack (seriously there isnt one bad track in this game. I want to make out with this music.) The gameplay is simple enough for you to start a new game and easily figure out what to do, but once you start digging a bit more, you'll find a surprisingly high number of things to keep track of. What ship do I chose? What upgrades do i make to my ship? Do I buy this decent weapon now or do I save my money and hope something better shows up at the next store?  The pausable real-time combat system is also great, with your crew-members and all of the various systems aboard needing to be managed with skill and a decent amount of strategy. And those little bastards that serve under you grow on you, and then your forced to sacrifice one of them to repair the life-support systems that caught fire in order to save the whole ship. RIP Mr Spock

Also, every playthrough is different. As a Rogulike, a new map is generated with every new game and there will be plenty of those, because this game is hard. Like, "if you play on Normal odds are pretty good you will die in first sector" hard.  Even on Easy, get used to seeing this screen pretty often.

Thankfully, as enraging as your death can sometimes be, it's never a huge set-back. Perhaps one of FTL's greatest strengths is the amazing pace the devs have set here. The rebel fleet is always just a few jumps behind, and dicking around in the same sector for too long will soon have you surrounded by rebel ships that srop nothing of value and hit like trucks. This cause the game to naturally move forward at a brisk pace, and getting from the beginning to the end boss takes between 1-2 hours depending on your play style, making every move count.

If I have one major problem with this game, it would have to be the Final Boss. Just look at this bastard!

And you have to beat his ass down not once, not twice, but three (3!!!) times in a timed mission on the final map (which is also swarming with smaller, yet still dangerous rebel ships, by the way). And it unleashes one bullshit special ability after the other during all of its fights. Now, I'm not one to resent hard boss fights in games, but this one is really more of a coin-flip than a test of skill. Did you get lucky and find the right weapons during your playthough? Are getting at least a few lucky evasions against his shots? Luck plays as big a role as skill in this fight, and that can be frustrating. I have never beaten this SOB on Normal, and only a handful of times on Easy.

Thankfully, FTL is one of those games where it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. And what a Journey it is.

...Also, this was made by a two-man team. Eat your heart out, AAA gaming industry.

Honorable Mention

Title: Borderlands
Developper: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Original Release Date: October 20th 2009 (PS3/360)

Not much to say here. I love the guns, and the game was great when playing with friends, but playing alone was kind of a drag at times. The sequel's pretty good too, though Gearbox, being Gearbox, is going a bit overboard with DLC. This game is frequently on sale on Steam, so check it out if you have a few friends willing to play with you.

That's all for now. Come back next time for Number 6!

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