Hello there everyone! My name is Douglas and I am a new content producer here at Marooners’ Rock. More specifically, I will be putting out videos for you all to see with your eye-holes. (First Looks, Impressions, Tricks, Tips, Reviews, Guides, or anything else you’d like to see) Since I will be doing reviews, as well as the other stuff, I felt like it would be a nice idea to give you guys a look into my mind to see exactly what I look for in a game. This way if I review something and someone feels that I was harsh on a game, they will know exactly why if they didn’t touch one or more of my “must have features.” Just as a clarification, even if I like multiples of a game, I will not put multiple titles from one series (unless it is a series as a whole. We’ll get to that) So without further ado, let’s check out my top ten games.
#10: Dead Rising
I’m going to be honest. I’m getting ready to make it sound like I hate this game, but I don’t. It is my number 10 because it is fun, wacky, and I have a lot of respect for it. “But Doug, Dead Rising 2 is soooooooooo much better!” That may be the case, but to be honest I have not played 2 yet. I have it, but have not started it yet. It is just one of those games that I keep saying I’ll get around to and I can’t justify saying I love a game that I haven’t even played. It’s plain and simple. Let’s rip the band-aid off hard, then we can see the healed wound, shall we?
This game is incredibly frustrating. It handles alright, but it is not refined. At. All. “Frank go left.” Frank goes left kind-of. It breaks two of my biggest rules to be good games. 1. It must have a good camera angle. 2. The AI have to be smarter than a sack of potatoes. I’m a stickler for good camera angles just because if you can’t see what is going on, you are not experiencing what the creators intended you to see. It is just like a film, if the frame is looking to the left, but something happens on the right, you hear it but cannot see it. That is a huge problem. Along with this Dead Rising probably has THE WORST AIs IN A GAME I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. I once got killed by a follower with a mini chainsaw because he was swinging at a zombie behind me, and kept hitting me instead, knocking me down, and swinging as I get up again. Twenty swings later, I was dead. (Thanks Bill…) and lost almost 3 hours of progress. This brings me to a slight complaint and a slight praise.
This game does not give a shit about you or your time and progress. There are no auto-saves. None. You must save manually every time you want to save progress. You died and forgot to save? You just lost 4 hours of progress because you were dumb. While that frustrated me while trying to rescue all survivors (yes, I almost have every achievement. I’m coming for you, 7 Day Survivor..), I can look back and appreciate it at the same time. This game didn’t hold your hand, at all. It made you accountable for yourself. You had to save. You had to manage your inventory, and the most important part: you had to manage your time.
The time limit in this game was awesome. I am a sucker for tweeks to mechanics, and time limits are a huge plus to me (as you will also see later). If you got caught up doing something, or if you just wasn’t paying attention, you could miss a very helpful (albeit, annoying to move around) survivor, or event. This made some achievements very difficult, but satisfying once you earned it. Combine the replay-ability of this game with the wacky stuff (toy helmets, swords, CDs, a real Mega Buster, etc.) and I got a soup that had a lot of stuff I didn’t like in it, but the chunks I did were so satisfying, I wasn’t even bothered by the parts I left sitting in the bowl.
Alright, now that that’s out-of-the-way, I feel like I can talk about what I really loved in the games, as opposed to explaining why exactly I like this game even though I hated a large part.
#9: Peggle 2
Peggle is one of my favorite “puzzle/skill/cuteness overload” games ever. While I enjoyed 1, there was a charm about 2 that hooked me. Some people complained that 2 was inferior because it was easier, and there were less masters. While this is true, I feel with more masters, there was less focus on each individual level, since you usually pick one master and stuck with him until you get stuck. While Gnorman was extremely overpowered (Yes, I used him the most), each master had its own finesse when it came to the special challenges. Some masters were good for the high points, some were good at precision.
Another leg up this has is the adorable sprites that were fully animated. Each had its own reaction to close shots, or great shots, or whatever situation would arise. Combine that with the fact the game ran at 1080p with 60 fps, and my eyes wanted to melt out of my skull from how adorable this game could be. The major plus in this game for me: the music. Each master had its own classical-esque theme. There would be motifs thrown into the background music depending on who you played as, then once all orange pegs were hit, you would be greeted with the full song (until the ball became bucketed), as opposed to 1’s Ode to Joy… over…and over…. and over……again…… The major downfall to this game to me is that once you were done with the relatively short “story” and challenges (completed all of them, took a major chunk of time for some of the later ones), there was really no real reason to pop back in. There was no desire to beat high scores, no desire to play with friends, or anything of the likes. It is just sitting there on my hard drive, begging for more DLC to come out.
Story time. I never played Oblivion. I could care less when I heard about Skyrim coming out. Two of my best friends from school were seriously pumped about it and pre-ordered. The weekend it was supposed to come out, they had to go home (We were all attending The Ohio State University) and needed me to pick their copies up for them. So I went out at midnight at the start of a long weekend to pick up two copies of a game I had no interest in. My roommate said I could play his copy of the game and he wouldn’t mind at all, so I said what the Hell. I popped the game in and started my Dark Elf Morphulux and started playing. The rest of the weekend is kind of blurry, but by the time my roommate got back, I had put almost 30 hours into the game. I started Friday, continued Saturday and he got back at around 8 PM that Sunday. That means I only had the game for 45ish hours and played it 30. I was engulfed in the land of Skyrim.
The graphics were beautiful, the combat mechanics were fun, the class changing and building was intriguing, the lore was immense, etc. etc. etc. Do I need to continue? I played this game so much. I 1000 pointed it (didn’t own all DLC so never got around to getting every point. Maybe some day.), I collected almost everything, yet I would still find things to do. Yeah, there were some glitches, and my Lydia fell off the face of the planet at some point (Lydia, you can still come home. I won’t be mad at you.), but this game was immense and immensely fun. Oh yeah, and who could forget the music? Not only were the main songs were great, but the ambience backtrack was some of the best sleeping music I could find (40 minutes of crickets and wind and water and relaxation). Not bad at all for a game I had 0 expectations for.
#7: Grand Theft Auto V
I started playing this series at GTA III, almost as soon as it came out (Do the math, I’m almost 22). Yes I started playing M games at a very young age, but I was supervised and whatnot. So yes the GTA series is one of my favorites, not even because of the “mindless killing sprees” you go on. Each game has amazing music, the graphics are top notch for the time each game came out (except you IV…. go back to your muddy, brown and gray world of sadness), there are cars, and boats and motorcycles and side quests and …. you get the idea. I love the openness of the series. While there are story missions, there are always multiple other things you can do. GTA V took this formula, expanded it, and put it on drugs. There is SO MUCH one can do in single player. There are 6ish types of collectibles depending on how you look at it, side missions, actual races, rampages, golf, tennis, darts, sky diving, etc. This game took my breath away when I first played it on the 360. It was immense. The story was great, the characters were all quirky, it had Danny Tamberelli, and it was all legitimately fun. The only portions of single player that bothered me was the fact that the submarine was as slow as molasses, and the fact the ending could cause you to not get multiple achievements/trophies on that play-through and start all the over. This is another major Sin to me. Achievements should not have the ability to be voided by the completion of single player in open-world games. Sadly GTA V allowed it.
On top of the whole single player experience, there is the Online component, which, when it works, is a lot of fun with friends. Yes, I will add that qualifier. While online adds to the game, the community takes away. “Let’s just walk down the street.” Wasted. “Let’s just drive down the highway.” Wasted. “Let’s just go into the middle of the wilderness and hide.” Wasted. You get my point. You will be hunted down, and you will be killed, all while listening to a 7 year get yelled at by his mother for not walking the trash down to the road. When you play with people you know, blast. When you play with people that may or may not still be in elementary school, not so much.
From here on out, there is going to be less explanation, just because the rest are so close to my heart. Just minor reasons why they are not higher, but it should be obvious why they are so high. Just a heads up.
#6: Banjo Kazooie
This game holds multiple fond memories for me. My mother and I would play this when it first came out, and recently when I came back home from college, we started playing through it again and eventually beat it. The only major complain that I have had with this game is the fact that, being a N64 game, the camera angle was outright atrocious. For a platformer, you could hardly see what you were doing easily. The port on the 360 was a little bit better, but not much. Other than that, however, this game was outstanding. This is the game that got me hooked on collectibles. Each level had the same collectibles, and then if you collected all, or almost all, you were rewarded in the end before the final boss fight. THAT is how you do collectibles ladies and gentlemen. The game is adorable, lighthearted, and charming. The music is catchy, and the grunts and coos that are made as a language is too much, in a good way. Each world is different from the last, and has its own perks and own music. There really isn’t much to hate about a game like this. There were annoying parts to certain levels, but the game was challenging in a very fair way.
#5: Halo Reach
After Halo ODST, my Halo interest dipped a tad. It was neat, but it wasn’t “halo.” So when Reach came out, I ignored it for a while. Until my friends brought it over for a game night. In one night, we cranked out the entire legendary campaign, and it was awesome! It wasn’t ‘Halo,’ but it FELT like ‘Halo.’ It was gritty, but not in the way ODST was. It added some extra cumin to the Halo Soup, if you will. The fact you could customize your Spartan was freaking sweet to younger me. The fact there were abilities, and sprint finally, was awesome. It added so much to the future of Halo, without taking away too much. The story was great, with the exception of Kat.. I never cared to much about Kat to be honest. I hated her character all the way through the campaign.
**SPOILER** To be honest, when she died in the least bad-ass way possible.. Jorge died from ship explosion, Carter died bombing a Scarab, Emile died taking a sword to the chest and then still killing guys like a badass, Noble 6 had a last stand after giving Cortana to the Pillar and distracting the Covenant so they could escape. Kat? Oh.. jackel shot one needle through her head when their shields were down… uh… no. When that bullet went through, I actually went “Yaaaay.” Not because she was the only woman.. do not misconstrue these statements as that. I just personally never thought Ms. Russian Robot Arm had any qualities that made me go “Y’know…I like her.” But I digress.. **END SPOILER**
The campaign had to be one of the strongest ones to date, and it was actually interesting.. and important to the Halo lore. The multiplayer was great since you now had abilities and whatnot, but I don’t feel a game should solely be judged on Multiplayer. Great maps, improved firefight, character customization, good ole Halo multiplayer.
#4: Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
**Note: I am doing this off of memory of 3DS remake. If there is a feature not in the original that I mention, I apologize**
Yes. I am a madman. I enjoyed Majora’s Mask so much more than Ocarina of Time. There are fewer camera issues in my opinion, and as mentioned earlier, I love time manipulation in games. It gives extra difficulty and requires more decisiveness and planning. MM soared because of this extra challenge. There were so many things to do, but you had to stick with the quest for all 3 days or you had to wait for a certain day to start/complete a quest. The game made this easy to keep track of with the Bomber’s Notebook. Each little aspect of a quest is put into the notebook so you can know when a certain event happens. There are not as many dungeons in this game as OoT (Technically 12 for OoT, technically 8 for MM) However, even though there are fewer things, there are so many activities to be done that can be broken into different sections due to the 3 day format.
Along with all the activities and time travel, I absolutely loved the added feature of the masks. They added extra powers (such as: Deku mask, Goron mask, Zorra mask, Fierce Diety mask), special perks (Great Fairy mask, Bunny hood) and allowed you to complete quests (Keeton mask, Mailman hat, Don Gero mask, etc.). In total there are 24 masks, but you pick and choose which masks you really want to use at any point. There are even some masks that you use once, and then they just become vanity masks. The only mask that I have a slight complaint about is the Fierce Deity mask. Yes, I understand. In order to get this mask, you must collect every single mask in the game, then at the end give them to the skull children. It is difficult to get this mask. However, once you do get it, you can only use it in the final battle(s). It makes the final boss battle of the game sooo…freaking… easy. I understand making it easier, it is a chore to get, but literally.. lock on.. swing your sword 30ish times, no need to move, and you win pretty much. It is that easy. A complaint, but I understand it for being a reward.
#3: Pokemon: Heartgold/Soulsilver
Pokemans. I looooove my Pokemans. So much. I have a living dex without all event legendary saved to the Pokémon bank, as well as 4 shinies (including Magillicutty, my level 100 shiny Dunsparce that I caught in X). These games are just so relaxing and enjoyable to me, as well as filled with strategic mind games. The only one I haven’t fully finished is Diamond, but I will be doing so this Summer. Generation II was always my favorite, just due to the advancements over Gen I, as well as having two regions, as opposed to one. Needless to say, I almost peed my pants when I heard HG/SS was coming out. I picked up HG and then there is a multiple month blur over my memory.. but I played that game soo much. Not only is it a graphical upgrade to my all time favorite generation, plus some upgrades and pokemon from III and IV. It added one of my favorite features, then took it out for every game afterwards so far. That would be the fact that your Pokémon in the 1 slot will be following you. Why in the world would that not be a feature you would keep? Especially when every person I have talked to that has played these games has said that they loved that feature. Along with this addition, there was the introduction of the Pokewalker, which was a neat little inclusion. I have since lost mine, but I hope to find it just because it is a neat little pedometer and game.
#2: Rock Band 2
Music games are my forte. As you can see from my gamertag and Twitter handle, I am a drummer. I loved the guitar hero games and guitar in Rockband, but the drums were such an awesome addition. I have since gone through 4 sets of drums (2 Rockband 1 drums, 1 Rockband 2, and am still using a Rockband 2 kit). There is something about listening to music while interacting with it using plastic instruments. A couple of my best friends and I have had Rockband game nights for the past few weeks. While 3 added some nice features and is the one that I still play, 2 was by far the best. It had the best on disc set list, as well as introducing battle of the bands, in-depth character creation, challenges, and a “tour mode” that was really neat. All of these features added to the game even if you only had the previous game’s hardware, where-as 3 added pro mode, keyboard, etc. which required other instruments and parts that may or may not be worth it. When 4 was announced to be going back to the roots of 2, I was absolutely ecstatic. There was a charm about 2 that they couldn’t capture in 3 as a whole game, not just a party game.
#1: Kingdom Hearts (Series)
Yes. The whole thing. How can I possibly pick just one? This series is immense. Disney characters, final fantasy characters, other Square characters, as well as original characters. There are worlds upon worlds. The combat style changed here and there (looking at you Chain of Memories..) but all in all, this game series is my favorite. I was introduced in 3rd grade by a friend who bought it. I have played every game since then, and have been eagerly waiting for 3. The camera angles were good, the cut scenes were good, the story (albeit confusing) was phenomenal, it was creative, and fun. Loaded with story, worlds, mini-games, collectibles, crafting items, weapon drops, hidden events, hidden bosses. In just one game you could put every bit of 30 hours into it without doing everything. The games are immense. If you personally have not played them, I highly recommend doing so. While they are my favorite games of all time, it is so difficult to accurately describe the magic that each game can have without seeing the Disney magic yourself.
So what do you all think? Satisfied? What are some of your favorite games? Have ideas for videos you would like to see/games you would like visual help on? Just comment below and I will try to hook you all up!
Until next time,