Ratty counts down his favorite games

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Ratty Sr., Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Gerko

    Gerko Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    May 2, 2003
    As a sidenote, you can download it (and GTA2, for that matter), for free.

    Well, you'll need to register, I think. And they say they're going to be using your information and stuff... but hey, look! Free Games. w00.



    -Gerko, no, it's not warez, idjits.
  2. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    I'm sure that properly reflects your taste, console boy.


  3. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Formerly known as Ratty Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003
    17. Arcanum: Of Steamworks And Magic Obscura, Troika Games / Sierra Entertainment (2001)

    Remember how I always used to say that Arcanum was a mediocre game and that whatever talent may have existed at Troika was offset by poor management, inadequate QA and dubious competence of their programmers and designers?

    I still stand by my statements... except for the one regarding Arcanum.

    I'll say it right away - Arcanum is possibly the best *role playing* game I have ever played. Yes, it's full of bugs. Yes, it has the suckiest interface in the history of suck. Yes, the combat system is such a mess that the best way to fix it would be to redesign it from ground up. Yes, a couple of combat-heavy areas are so tedious that it makes you wonder if Troika outsourced part of their design to BioWare. Yes, if balancing was any shittier, half-ogre mages would be capable of killing undead mobs twice their level by glancing at them.

    Yet for all its shortcomings, Arcanum is such an amazing and unique experience that you simply can't help but stop every five minutes and marvel at the brilliance of its writers and designers. There are four key traits that make Arcanum one of the best RPGs ever:

    1) Not being on Per's favorite games list.

    2) Fairly consistent open-ended design. At almost every spot Arcanum poses practical and ethical choices before the player, and they result in consequences that are profound and logical.

    3) Great writing. And by "writing" I don't just mean the narrative (which is excellent), but also pretty much every portion of the game that involves written or spoken word of any sort. Troika's writers did an amazing job fleshing out all characters, regardless of whether they are plot-critical NPCs or simple bystanders. It takes some genuine talent and skill with language to create such diverse characters and make them convincing and unique through masterful use of appropriate vocabulary, expressions and writing style. In Arcanum, you don't need fancy graphics to tell the difference between a rowdy dock worker, an industrious merchant, an ignorant peasant, a self-absorbed noblewoman and an unscrupulous industrialist. Ultimately, this is what makes Arcanum more immersive than Oblivion could ever hope to be, even with photorealistic graphics, real-life physics and cables running from the computer directly into the player's cerebral cortex for maximum perceptive stimulation, and writing quality for even the most insignificant quests and dialogues easily trumps the best of BioWare's work.

    4) Atmosphere. Overall *feel* of the game, a combination of brilliant writing and solid artwork, is among the best I have ever experienced, and a real refreshment in a world abundant with unimaginative high fantasy.

    If it weren't for several serious flaws, this game would undoubtedly be the closest thing to the perfect CRPG. But, as it stands, Arcanum gets a well-deserved 17th place as the flawed masterpiece it is.
  4. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    That really low-production-value tale in the middle of the game, where you learn Arronax' tale, is so laughably badly made I still can't stop chuckling every time I see it. Such crap. Not because it's cheap, it's just REALLY BADLY MADE.

    Which is less true for the end-sequences, though those are just stills with narrative.
  5. DirtyDreamDesigner

    DirtyDreamDesigner Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 15, 2005
    If nobody includes Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines in their top whatever list I will make one. You have been warned. That is all.
  6. Serifan

    Serifan Orderite Orderite

    Aug 3, 2006
    Vampire bloodlines was not that great combat sucked ass
  7. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    You do realize it is higher on my list than on yours?

    Er, no.
  8. Batz

    Batz First time out of the vault

    Nov 8, 2006
    I concur

    The combat wasn't great but the characters were really well designed, etc
  9. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Formerly known as Ratty Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003
    Alright, time to post the next game, albeit with a two-day delay.

    16. Europa Universalis II - Paradox Interactive / Strategy First (2001)

    With my favorite games so far being a flight sim, a sports game, a driving action game and a classic RPG, it's only fair that I throw in a grand strategy game for good measure. As a fan of history and slow-paced strategy, I regarded the first Europa Universalis as a dream come true, and Europa Universalis II only reinforced that impression, as it takes everything that made its predecessor great and improves upon it further.

    Contrary to what the term "grand strategy" might imply, Europa Universalis isn't overly complex. Its roots are with an old board game based on the historical setting of the Early Modern Times. Paradox took the board game's premise and delivered a fantastic and innovative strategy game that allows the player to assume the role of ruler of a historical state in one of several historically accurate scenarios and manage every aspect of his empire, from economic and religious policies to diplomatic and military affairs. It is the latter two that make the game so entertaining and addictive, as nothing quite beats invading Poland with the small, but outstandingly well-trained Prussian force, crushing the puny resistance of ragged peasants, conquering the kingdom's capital and forcing them to cede their most valuable provinces. Not to mention the overwhelming delight you feel when you open up the political map and see that your empire of Aryan übermenschen occupies half of Europe, with Poland and France confined to about one tenth of their original territories. With such endless possibilities for rewriting world history, who cares if the game is 2D and features about four different colors? I say, the board game feel is a plus and everyone who thinks otherwise can go drool on their Company of Heroes DVD.

    In case you are wondering, if EU II didn't exist, the original EU would have probably taken the 20th place in this list. The sequel looks and plays almost identically to its predecessor, except it extends the time period (1420-1820 instead of 1492-1792) and boasts new features, such as enhanced diplomacy (for example, it's finally possible to annex a superpower), the ability to play as *any* country (from festering holes like Poland to really glorious kingdoms like Croatia), the ability to change a province's religion by sending missionaries, and many more. Bottom line - you can't go wrong with either, but the second is superior to the first in almost every regard.
  10. SimpleMinded

    SimpleMinded Vault Fossil

    Jun 17, 2003
    Sigh, that game tears me apart. I've heard great things about it and bought it but I can't get into it. There's some deeper level of strategy to it that I could never grasp.

    One day...
  11. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Formerly known as Ratty Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003
    15. The Lost Vikings - Silicon & Synapse / Interplay Entertainment (1992)

    This popular adventure platform game was developed by Blizzard in early nineties, back when they were known as Silicon & Synapse and still worked on games not called World Of Warcraft. As the name suggests, it features a group of Vikings who get abducted by a brutal alien overlord Tomator, who hunts specimens for his space zoo. It is the player's task to guide them off Tomator's spaceship and back home. The perilous journey will take the Vikings through diverse areas and time periods, such as a prehistoric jungle, an ancient Egyptian pyramid and a futuristic factory.

    There are three Vikings in total, and each possesses unique abilities. Erik the Swift can sprint, jump and bash things with his head, Baleog the Fierce can fight enemies with his sword and bow, while Olaf the Stout has a huge wooden shield which can be used for blocking enemy blows or as a parachute, and Erik can even use it as a springboard to help him reach high places. Also, each Viking can carry a maximum of four items - some of these are necessary for progressing through levels (keys), while others are optional (food). Only by using and combining the Vikings' abilities can the player solve various puzzles and overcome obstacles encountered throughout the game. The puzzles are fairly standard for games of this type and usually boil down to finding a particular key or pulling a switch, but they are sufficiently challenging and greatly contribute to the game's addictiveness.

    In addition to being immensely fun to play, TLV also possesses a unique charm that stems from its cartooney graphics and characters' quirky personalities. The Vikings will occasionally make humorous remarks (Erik: "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto." Baleog: "Where's Kansas?" Olaf: "And who's Toto?") or get into arguments, and the cartooney style is accentuated by stylized, over-the-top violence and death animations.

    With its superb gameplay and graphics, TLV is a true classic and remains popular even now. Even video game newbies may have played the GBA version, and WoW addicts are very familiar with the three Vikings, especially if they visit the Uldaman instance frequently... In conclusion, I'd like to nominate this list for the Top 20 Most Diverse Game Lists Ever list, because all six games presented so far belong to different genres. If that doesn't bespeak my flawless taste and extensive knowledge of games, I don't know what does.
  12. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    TLV is one of the best platform adventure/puzzlers ever. Maybe the best.

    Now stup sucking your own cock.
  13. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    Fabulous, I bought a version for the GBA just the other day just to keep it close at all times :)

    Fergus worked on Lost Vikings II, by the way.
  14. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Formerly known as Ratty Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003
    No wonder it sucks so badly.

    J/K, I haven't even played the sequel.
  15. Atomic Playboy

    Atomic Playboy First time out of the vault

    Nov 26, 2006
    Wow ! You sure can guess a lot from a seemingly innocuous game name. I'm humbled. :notworthy:

    And you can pick good games too. I hadn't thought of this game for a long time but it's probably one of the best platformers ever. Thanks for bringing back good memories.
  16. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Formerly known as Ratty Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003
    Yeah, I rule pretty hard, don't I? Not like that sucky lizard Per, or that envious bastard Kharn.
  17. keyser Soeze

    keyser Soeze Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 15, 2005
    Ratty who said that TES quote? :lol: Very nicely put!
  18. The Vault Dweller

    The Vault Dweller always looking for water.

    Aug 24, 2004
    I played that game Ratty and you are 100% correct. Excellently challenging and with a great atmosphere.

    The Vault Dweller
  19. DirtyDreamDesigner

    DirtyDreamDesigner Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 15, 2005
    About fucking time you updated your list, Rat. Now, where's Vampire? Top five, I hope for your own good.
  20. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Formerly known as Ratty Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003

    14. Syndicate Wars - Bullfrog Productions / Electronic Arts (1996)

    "Good morning, citizen. Congratulations on your promotion. Welcome to UTOPIA Today. I am Detroit A.I., and this is UTOPIA Level Nine. Have a profitable day, executive."

    A popular hit from Bullfrog's heyday, Syndicate Wars is an immensely fun tactical shooter set in the distopian future. After the events of the original Syndicate and American Revolt, the world is dominated by Eurocorp, a powerful multinational corporation. Eurocorp assert their dominance using a network of special spinally implanted chips called UTOPIA (an acronym for Universally Transferred Organic Processing Interface Architecture, which sounds incredibly cool, especially when you are twelve and playing your first cyberpunk game), which ensure universal contentment and obedience by literally altering people's perception of (otherwise grim) reality.

    The game begins when a religious cult known as the Church of the New Epoch introduces a virus into the UTOPIA network. The disruption inflicted by the virus causes millions of citizens to rebel against Eurocorp, either as acolytes of the Church or as members of an anarchist group known as "U-Citizens" or "Unguided". The player may choose either Eurocorp (and assume leadership of a team of elite agents) or the Church (and be granted control of a group of acolytes), upon which they are tasked with performing various missions for their side throughout the globe. Most missions are mandatory, but some are optional, and many have more than one objective. Objectives vary from simple assassinations and abductions to wiping out entire enemy garrisons. By successfully performing missions, the player gains funds which can be spent between missions on purchase and development of new weapons and cybernetic enhancements.

    In case it isn't obvious, Syndicate Wars is a game that contains a lot of Awesome. It's as if Bullfrog developers somehow found an unlimited source of concentrated Awesome and generously applied it to every element of their game. Though it's quite difficult to describe in words the amount of pure, unfiltered Awesome the player encounters while playing Syndicate Wars, I'm still going to try. Here we go:

    1) Syndicate Wars puts you in control of a team of nigh-invincible, minigun-wielding, menacing-trenchcoat-wearing superagents. Or, if you are playing as the Church, you get to control a team of giant one-eyed priests who have massive high-tech weapons attached to stumps of their arms and hover around using jetpacks fueled from huge tanks built into their shoulders.

    2) Syndicate Wars lets you mow down crowds of innocent civilians with miniguns, or throw a tank of psychosis-inducing gas at them, causing them to riot and start killing each other.

    3) Syndicate Wars lets you destroy *anything*. Everything, absolutely *everything* in the game is destructible, from street lights to skyscrapers.

    4) In Syndicate Wars you can wield a huge gun that fires a graviton beam powerful enough to destroy buildings and vaporize any fool that gets caught in its wake.

    5) In Syndicate Wars you can blow up city blocks with portable nukes, or obliterate entire districts with a rain of orbital missiles.

    6) Syndicate Wars features driveable vehicles, including a massive hovering tank with a mounted multi-barreled rocket launcher.

    7) In Syndicate Wars you can use a device called Persuadertron to brainwash bystanders into joining you. Your newly-recruited followers will even loot weapons off corpses and fight on your behalf. Alternatively, Persuadertron can be used to abduct scientists and enemy agents.

    8) Syndicate Wars has great atmosphere a lá Blade Runner, thanks to the perpetually nocturnal ambient and excellent visual design of technology and urban architecture.

    9) Syndicate Wars is rife with cyberpunk themes, concepts and techno-babble, many of them obviously lifted from William Gibson's Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, books universally acknowledged as apotheoses of Awesome.

    If none of the things I mentioned above are enough to convince you to go find a copy of Syndicate Wars right away, then you are obviously Awesomely-challenged. As an Awesomely-challenged person, you are inherently unable to comprehend the Awesome in Syndicate Wars, or any other game on this list. I therefore suggest you do yourself a favor and go back to playing whatever mediocre game has your attention at the moment (I suspect its title begins with "G" and ends with "ears Of War"), and leave Awesome to those who can appreciate it.