Category Archives: top 10

Holey’s Top Ten Games of the Decade (3-1) + Honorable Mention

So here it is, my top 3 games of the decade. I don’t expect anyone to agree with me, but that’s what opinions are for, right?

3) Sharin no Kuni: Himawari no Shoujo

 Whaaat?! Another visual novel?!? Well too bad, this was just so amazing I had to put it up here.

I’m not gonna write anything for this because I already have a lengthy review for this game on another site. Link is here. (I’ve been having trouble directing myself to that link. Just refresh it if you can’t connect and you should be good to go)

But yeah. Read this. Seriously.

2) Tales of Symphonia

One of the best, if not the best selling RPG on the Gamecube. I fell in love with this game the moment I started. I was relatively new to JRPG’s at the time, so this was a new experience to me. From the moment I picked it up to the moment I beat it, I was having the time of my life. The story, the cast, and the battle system were all so amazing, especially when put together.

Well, ok. Truth to be told, the story wasn’t all that spectacular. It was good enough for what it is though, and the story really drove the characters to develop themselves as individuals. Which brings me to my favorite aspect of the game; the cast. Each character has their own unique quirks and traits, all with a dark background and past. The way the game allowed the characters to interact with the world, other characters and the story really made them come alive. The game allows you to have an ending for any character in your party, which leaves a lot to explore even after beating the game. Each character path gives more insight on said character, connecting themselves with you as the player even more so. Throughout the game, it felt more like I was really traveling with a group of friends rather than distant companions sought on accomplishing their own goals. Just a irk of mine, the English localization could have at least voiced the skits. ;_;

And the gameplay, the trademark of the Tales series. Tales of Symphonia’s battle system is rather primitive when compared to later Tales of games such as Tales of the Abyss and Vesperia, but what Symphonia’s battle system can do is enough to make the game enjoyable. Battles are set in real time, so there’s not much time to decide on decisions. In any given battle you are allowed a maximum of four characters on screen. Each character has their own set of skills and movesets, which gives way to many different unique combinations and battles. If you’re new to the Tales of series, at first the battles will seem crazy and out of control, what with so many things happening at once in one screen. However, the battle system is very easy to adapt to and sooner or later, you’ll become accustomed to the chaos that takes place in every battle. Even if you think you’ve gotten the grasp of your character and the battle system, there’s other aspects to explore, such as the S and T type branch. Using certain skills will move your character to a certain type, which in turn gives them different skills and abilities. There’s a lot to explore with Symphonia’s battle system, even if you’ve beaten the game several times.

Tales of Symphonia does hold a special place in my heart. After all, it was my first “real” RPG that I fully enjoyed and finished (I’ve played others before, like FFX. None of them did it for me). The light hearted attitude of the game and the characters created a fun atmosphere, which was enjoyable to play through. Oh, if you’re planning to play this game, keep in mind it’s about 50+ hours to finish. And that’s not even counting the sidequests. If I were to count that in the playtime hours, the game’s worth at least 100 hours. Depending on how fast you play RPG’s though, of course.

And finally…

1) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

I’m sure many of you have heard of this game before. It was that one PS2 game that was released in the states during the period where no games were being developed for the PS2 anymore. Persona 4, without a doubt is my favorite game of all time (so far, at least).

Everything; from the cast to the story to the gameplay is amazing. The cast is composed of a bunch of high school teenagers with an incentive to save people from mysterious murders, and their town that’s being threatened to be engulfed by a mysterious fog. You, the main character, is a silent protagonist. Through the decisions you make, you can increase your stats in various areas such as intelligence and courage. Your decisions also affect your relationship with other characters, which is extremely crucial to your abilities in battle. The rest of the cast will become your trustworthy companions for a whole year, all of whom you will work together with to solve the mysterious murders that have been occurring in the small town of Inaba. Each character is unique, with stories and backgrounds to tell. Your party members are all quirky in their own way, their personalities often contrasting with others in your group. Nonetheless, you all get along as best friends, and throughout your journey you’ll establish a strong connection to each of your friends. The cast in Persona 4 is even more heavily defined than the characters are in Tales of Symphonia. Because of a more open world and setting to explore, the game is able to delve into the cast of Persona 4 much more deeply. Because the main character is living two separate lives; one as a student in high school and the other as a detective attempting to solve the mysterious murders. Due to this, as you simulate your life as a student and a detective, the main character is given more opportunities to interact with everyone in the game and get closer with each of them. Some you can choose to become lovers with, others you can decide to become best buddies with. Ultimately, many options are open to you. Because of this, many things can only be explored on a second playthrough. One playthrough will not be enough to get the most out of Persona 4. Just like Tales of Symphonia, the game makes you feel as if you’re on a journey with the best of friends rather than a bunch of acquaintances living in the same town. The only difference being, Persona 4 visits the nature of its characters much more deeply, which gives a lot of insight to human nature and its ups and downs. Persona 4’s cast raises a lot of psychological questions to the reader; is what we’re doing always right? Is it right for us to hide our true selves and put on a facade, a persona? Many of these questions are presented to the player several times, leaving the player to ponder the nature of society.

The story of Persona 4 is very heavy on development, so I can’t say much without spoiling. To get the most out of the story, there are several ends that can be achieved. There is the Bad End, Normal End, and True End. To achieve the True End is a very difficult task; many people don’t achieve it until their second playthrough, unless they used a guide to walk them through the game. The story is intriguing to those interested in the genre of mystery. In the small town of Inaba, mysterious murders have been happening. Nobody knows who’s causing these murders, and it’s up to you as the main character to discover the truth. The police are useless, after all (seriously, when have they ever been useful in a video game, ever?). From start to finish, many plot twists are presented, and several shocking revelations will surprise the player. With its amazing pacing and development, Persona 4’s story is one that will hook anyone from beginning to end.

As for the gameplay, it’s your traditional turn based system, with Shin Megami Tensei’s own unique flavor. Unlike Final Fantasy games, the turn based system in Persona 4 is very high risk, high reward. Every single move and decision you make in battle affects the outcome greatly. Your characters are not almighty; they can be easily taken out with a few hits, sometimes even on. After all, you are but a high school student. It’s up to each party member’s Personas to protect their respective owners. Even then, battles are not easy. Make a simple mistake, and you might just see the Game Over screen appear. The point of the battles is to discover your enemy’s weak point, and to exploit it. Without it, battles can be hard fought, and your party may be exhausted of SP sooner than you’d hope. By making smart decisions in battle and exploiting your enemy’s weakness, your party can progress further in the game’s randomly generated dungeons. It’s not just your typical “Select Attack and Win” battle. Though granted, once you get the hang of the weakness of the different types of enemies, the game does become a tad easy. Until you hit the bosses. Some of them are ridiculously hard. Seriously.

And that concludes my main list, my personal Top 10 Games of the Decade. Now, for the Honorable Mention Award goes to…

HM) Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

Recettear is an indie game that was released in Japan many years ago. However, Recettear is also an indie game that was recently localized and released in the US this year. I picked up this game because of all the hype it got from various forums and sites. Did it disappoint? Oh, hell no. I was expecting great things from the game even, and I still underestimated it. This game went for $20 on release on Steam and other gaming sites, and I can say this: If I had to pay $100 for this game, I’d gladly do so. There’s so much content packed into this indie title that will leave players with much to do, even after beating the game.

So you’re wondering, what in the world is Recettear? It’s a game where you take on the role as a loli shopkeeper, working to pay off your father’s debt. Remember all those times in those RPG’s you played, where you would enter an item shop and buy weapons and potions? That under appreciated shopkeeper is now you, and it’s up to the player to stock up on the store and remain in business. After all, if you’re not going to do it, who else is going to be responsible to sell potions and steel swords to adventurers?

The gameplay itself is quite unique. It’s split in two parts; one part is where you handle the shop during business hours. You stock up on items, you put them on display and you sell them personally to customers who come in to your store. The other part is where you, as the loli shopkeeper hire adventurers to do your dirty deed for a price in dungeons. They kill monsters and gain experience, while you get all the loot to sell. The dungeon exploring part of the game is fairly simple. You your characters and the map from above, and you move around the dungeon in real time and attack monsters that approach you. Quite simple, yet if you time your attacks wrong, you can be severely punished for it, as monsters do deal quite a lot of damage. Each adventurer has their own special abilities. There are many different things you can experiment with each adventurer, leaving a lot for the player to explore. Not only that, there are many different items to find in the game, all of which you can use or sell in the store. As for managing the store, after you open up your shop, your customers will ask you how much you want to charge for a particular item that they want. It’s up to you as the shopkeeper to negotiate with them by raising the price to an acceptable amount that they would agree to. Fail, and you’ll lose trust in your customers. Succeed and your store’s reputation will increase, as will your Merchant Level. As your Merchant Level increases, you become more able to forge better items and equipment. By winning the trust of customers, you can sell your wares for a higher price. In the end, it all comes down to how well you can manage your time and business skills. If you’re not good enough, then you’re subjecting Recette to live in a cardboard box for the rest of her life. You wouldn’t want that, would you? Do yourself a favor, support Carpe Fulgur and buy this amazing gem of a game. You won’t regret it at all. And Carpe Fulgur deserves all the support they can get. After all, they did an amazing job with the localization. One of the reasons why I enjoyed the game so much was because of the creative and unique way they localized this game. They didn’t go with a literal translation, but rather they changed the script to fit to the taste of Westerners, while still retaining the traditional Japanese style of humor and dialogue. So yeah. Go out of your way and buy this amazing game for $20. You won’t regret it. If you do, Recette will be happy.

Holey’s Top 10 Games of the Decade (7-4)

And here it is, the continuation of my top 10 list. We left off with Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door last time. So next up is…

7) BlazBlue: Continuum Shift

I’m a huge fighter/fighting enthusiast, and given that I play a few other fighters competitively, I can say that I’m really passionate about fighters. This is one of the fighters that I do play competitively, and greatly enjoy doing so. BlazBlue is a fighter developed by Arc System Works, the same company that brought you Guilty Gear. BlazBlue is a fighter that’s heavy on anime styled themes and characters, all of which pertain to me. Even if you’re not into this sort of thing (though if you didn’t, I don’t know why you would be on this site to begin with), it’s still a solid fighter to pick up. Continuum Shift is the second entry in the BlazBlue series, though the game isn’t quite perfect. Balance issues are all over the place, and the overall gameplay still feels a tad clunky at times. The story is extremely complex and convoluted, to the point where I’m still not sure what the hell went on in Story mode. But really, story in a fighting game?

The core gameplay is quite traditional, with the basic linking buttons together to form combos, punishing badly executed attacks and pressuring the opponent with moves. BlazBlue takes all that and adds its own flavor to it. The result is a smooth, fast paced fighter with a slightly clunky execution. Balancing issues are heavily present, unfortunately (LOOKING AT YOU, RACHEL ALUCARD), and the combo system needs an overhaul as well (Looking at you, Litchi). However, the core gameplay is fun for those new and knowledgeable to the genre. For beginners, there’s a Beginner Mode that allows you to pull off very basic combo through button mashing. For veterans, there’s plenty of combo possibilities that work in many different situations. BlazBlue is a VERY combo heavy game, so knowing a few good combos is a must. Each character has their own unique style, with BlazBlue’s unique “D” attack system, which is a fourth attack button that’s unique to every character. This opens up a lot of different matchup possibilities, as well as several different ways a character can be executed. The music score in BlazBlue is also superb, with many memorable tracks (a personal favorite of mine is Endless Despair and Nightmare Fiction). They all work well in-game, and never feel out of place.

Speaking of characters, Noel is hot.

The Queen of Fetishes

 6) Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars

Good ol’ Capcom fighting games. I’m really passionate about fighters, but TvC just happens to be my favorite one thus far. I’ve participated in three tournaments so far, but that’s about it. I won one of them, actually, at Sakura-con. So, if you were there in the gaming room watching the TvC tournament, you probably saw me (though I doubt any of you actually did).

Anyways, as a fighter, it’s pretty simple. You have three basic attack buttons, and you can chain/link them together to form combos. The unique thing about this game is that you have a partner whom you can call upon to help you or tag out at anytime, so you’re given two fighters to use in a single match. As a VS Capcom games are, TvC is really flashy and combo heavy, unlike the more traditional Super Street Fighter IV. The fast paced fighting and action, along with flashy cartoon animations makes this game a blast to play. Despite its seemingly basic controls, there is a surprising amount of depth in the game, like every other fighter. Bursting, Baroque-cancelling, and OTG attacks are all but a few to name. If you live in an area with a huge fighting scene (I’m located in SoCal, where fightan games dominate the scene), then definitely give this a go. It doesn’t have as much recognition as some other fighters have, but the scene is still decently sized and tournaments still happen.

5) Ever17

 What? But, visual novels aren’t games!

Yeah, well, screw you. For those of you who’ve never heard of visual novels, they’re…well, visual novels. Pretty self-explanatory. It’s a game where you read text accompanied by pretty visuals. Sort of like an interactive picture book, but better.

Anyways, Ever17 is your bread and butter for English translated visual novels. It’s highly hailed as one of the best, if not the best translated visual novel out right now. Can’t say I agree with this being the “best”, but it definitely is a masterpiece. It’s so good in fact, even 4chan prevents anyone from spoiling the story to anyone playing this game because of how amazing the plot is. The plot is indeed amazing, though it takes a while for it to start up. Ever17 is basically a mystery visual novel, where a mystery is presented to you and it’s up to the protagonist to solve it. Ever17 is divided up into five routes: You route, Tsugumi route, Sora route, Sara route and Coco route. Coco route is only available after completing every other route in the game. To get the most out of the game, you must play through all five routes. Each route presents answers and even more questions to the mystery, and Coco’s route beautifully answers everything in ways you never thought imaginable.

Not much I can really say about this. Can’t say too much without spoiling a huge chunk of the game. So, take it upon yourself and try this out if you haven’t yet already.

4) Valkyria Chronicles

Ah, yes, Valkyria Chronicles. That one game everybody recommends when someone asks for recommendations for good PS3 games. That one game nearly everyone seems to love. That one game that even won the Guinness Book of World Records award for best PS3 strategy game.

Though that’s not saying much.

Valkyria Chronicles is my favorite PS3 game, hands down. It’s a military game where you take the role as the commander of a small country being invaded by the strongest force in the nation. Through your miraculous and cunning actions as commander, you work with your unit to push back the opposing force and save your beloved country. Valkyria Chronicles is perhaps the most stylistic PS3 game I have seen to date. The game is done in a beautiful canvas-style setting with beautiful outlined sketches.

The gameplay itself is built from an engine named BLiTZ (Battle of Live Tactical Zones). It’s a turn based military game where you use your troops to advance and capture bases. The concept is simple, but the execution is beautiful. You have several classes you can choose from to use, such as Scouts, Lancers, Snipers, Engineers, Tanks, and Shocktroopers. Each class has their quirks about them. Scouts can run for a long distance and are somewhat effective at medium range sniping, but they have very low health. Shocktroopers are your frontline men with plenty of health, but bad range. Lancers are your bazooka men, capable of bringing down tanks in one hit given the right circumstances. Snipers are…snipers. Engineers fix up your tanks and supply ammo and health to your squadron. Lastly, Tanks are just tanks that demolish the battlefield.

As I said before, Valkyria Chronicles is a turn based game. You use up all your points to move your units and defeat the enemy until you run out of points, and then your enemy does the same. The strategical part of this is positioning your unit in the right areas so they can effectively attack, yet not be counterattacked. There are plenty of obstacles you can use for cover to help in advancing, such as your tank. You bring down the enemy slowly and take over their camps, which progresses you further in the story. The game is heavily dependent on teamwork between your classes. Snipers can take out other snipers and other harmful units before you send your shocktrooper to the frontlines. Scouts can survey the area in front of them to make sure it’s safe to proceed. Every move and point you have is valuable, as the battlefield is constantly changing.

The story is wonderfully executed, a touching tale of an unknown squadron banding together to save their country. Conflicts, deaths and betrayals binds the story together to present us with an amazing plot that’s not overly complex or simple.

Simply put, if you have a PS3 and have not yet played this game, get out there to your nearest game store and buy this for $19.99, and then spend the next few days locked up in your basement playing through this.

Oh. Right. Updates on Takkoku!!:

Tomorrow’s Tuesday, which means it’ll be out most likely by tomorrow or Wednesday. So no worries, we haven’t dropped it yet. Anyways, the last part to this list will be posted tomorrow.

Holey’s Top 10 Games of the Decade (10-8)

So, I’ll be doing something similar to what our cleaner did. Being a huge gamer myself, I figured it’d be pretty interesting to type out a list of my top 10 games of the decade. So, here it is.

10) Project Diva 2nd

 I’m a big fan of Vocaloid anything, so naturally I loved playing this game. This wonderful PSP game has a lot of popular Vocaloid songs for you to play with, such as Meltdown, Melt, The World is Mine, Just Be Friends, Saihate, etc. There’s also a lot of unlockables, such as costumes for your Vocaloids. Not to mention, there’s also this little mode where you can watch a Vocaloid play around in their room, kind of like a virtual pet. You can buy them gifts and whatnot, and they’ll interact with their surroundings in different ways. It’s pretty interesting to watch. The graphics are top notch as well, for a PSP game at least. The PV’s they made for each song are all very well done, and you can watch them in Theater Mode anytime you want. The game also has a custom song option, where you can make your own beats to a song, so there’s a lot of options to choose from.

As for the actual gameplay, it’s a simple rhythm game. You press the buttons according to what shows up on the screen and to the rhythm. As basic as it is, playing to your favorite songs is always a blast.

Pictured: My waifu

 9) Sengoku Rance

Having been recently translated into English, I took it upon myself to try this out. What greeted me was…a lot of sex. And rape. And awesome, addicting and strategical gameplay. The gameplay is pretty simple; you have six commanders on your side vs. another six commanders on the opposing sides, and through a turn-based system you both trade blows. The goal is to overwhelm the enemy bar before the end of the battle, which will result in a victory. As simple as this sounds, there’s a surprising large amount of strategy involved in this, as each commander has different stats and abilities, and there are classes as well. Mikos are good for healing, Archers are back-line units, Footsoldiers are your tanks, and your Warriors will be dealing the most damage. There are other classes too, such as the Musketeers and Ninjas, and a few other special classes. The other game mode of the game is the Conquering aspect. Basically, your goal is to conquer all of Japan with your army. What this entails is a lot of carefully planned time management and trade-offs. Money is quite scarce, so you want to handle your units and resources carefully. There are several difficulties to this game, so if you’re up for a challenge you can always try the 5 Star Challenge.

The best part of Rance is the characters and the crude humor. There are a lot of characters you can recruit and choose from, all based off of real historical figures such as Uesugi Kenshin, who happened to be the only female heroine of an eroge to dethrone Saber from the #1 spot.

Pictured: A female Uesugi Kenshin.

There are a lot of other historical figures as well, such as Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu (who is hilariously depicted as a giant raccoon), Date Masamune (who is a round eyeball. No, seriously.) and his trusty sidekick Kojuro (who is depicted as a tiny mobile car that looks like something out of Toy Story.), among several others. All these unique characters can be recruited and used in battle. The characters are all designed to be a complete opposite of their real life figures, such as the four Shimazu brothers being depicted as young playboys, and Mouri Motonari being depicted as a barbarian warrior. The humor and dialogue in the game are great, with plenty of sex jokes and funny interactions between characters. If you have the time, definitely give this game a go. Warning: This game is for people over the age of 18. Not that will probably stop any of you.

8)  Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

 No matter what you may say about Mario, this was a great game. Nintendo mixed traditional RPG gameplay with the unique characteristics of Mario, which resulted in this Gamecube masterpiece. The characters in your party are all quirky with unique personalities, and the setting and world itself is beautiful to look at. As the title suggests, everything looks like paper. Despite that, the world is very colorful and interactive, and the paper aspect of the game is a integral part of the gameplay. There are tons of things to do in this game even after you beat it, such as sidequests and minigames.

To get around the world of Paper Mario, there are a lot of special power up abilities that Mario will gain throughout this journey. He can transform himself into a paper airplane even, among other things. The game itself, admittedly, is nothing too challenging, but challenging enough to be enjoyable. The music is also top notch as well, along with the graphics and animations. This game serves to me as a reminder that games don’t have to be all brown ‘n bloom to be considered good, and that there is still a creative side to the gaming industry. Props to you, Nintendo.

And if you’re wondering why I didn’t put the third Paper Mario game down as number 8, I didn’t like it at all.

Reg’s top 10 games of 2000-2010 (3-1)

Here’s the end of the list. I fully expect multiple people to disagree with these three entries, but I feel that each of these three, in their own way, are the pinnacle of gaming for the past eleven years.

Number three is another visual novel, and one that I hold very dear to me. Tsukihime may not have been my first visual novel, but it’s definitely my favorite. The story follows Shiki Tohno, an anemic young man with the power to see death, and his misadventures dealing with (primarily) vampires and getting the girl of his choice. This was Nasu Kinoko’s first visual novel, and at the time of this writing, it’s right about 10 years old. The story’s strongest aspect is its cast of characters. With little exception, every single character is an absolutely great one. It’s also probably not a coincidence that they all tend towards yandere tendancies, either <.< Either way, Tsukihime is dear to me for being an engrossing story that I’d take over most actual books, which is most strongly supported by its utterly amazing cast of characters. Best Parts: The Coffee Talk. You know the one, if you’ve read it. Also, Shiki’s “This is what it means to kill something” speech scores points for being probably the most badass thing he’ll ever do. And he does lots of badass things. Moving along, Number 2 goes to Portal. This little gem of a game originated as the overlooked little brother of the Orange Box games, and for a while it was constantly overshadowed by Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2. However, Portal is quite possibly the best puzzle game since Tetris. The game itself is a hybrid FPS/Puzzler. You use a gun to shoot portals that function much like you’d expect (In one, out the other), and use that to navigate a series of chambers to get your precious cake reward at the end. Naturally, being a puzzle game, the chambers becomre more and more complex as you move on. Another thing of note is GLaDOS. GLaDOS is a sentient computer that gets you started on your quest by freeing you from your room at the start and promising you cake if you complete all the test chambers. Throughout the game, she gives you general directions loaded with tons of unintentional(?) humor and snark. I’m not going to go into any detail there, so that if you don’t already know it you can experience it for the first time without knowing.
Best Part: 4000 degrees Kelvin to the end. Full stop. Alternatively, all of it.

My number one game of 2000-2010 is a choice that I honestly don’t expect a single one of you to agree with. Star Wars: Battlefront II is an absolutely brilliant game that takes everything great about Star Wars except the Trench Run and puts you into the action. The main mode, Instant Action literally has you choosing a battle ground and a faction and just jumping into a fight. Battlefront is, in part, the direct predecessor to modern FPSes, where you take a soldier, fight the enemy, and respawn upon death. However, what really separates it from the crowd is the setting. Battlefront takes many of the well-known Star Wars locales, such as the interior of the Death Star, the city of Mos Eisely, and the Rebel Base on Hoth, and accurately recreates them into battlefields for the two opposing factions to fight over. As a huge Star Wars fan, Battlefront appeals to me on many levels that most other shooters can’t. However, even beyond that, the quality of the gameplay is superb, and even though I’ve had this game since the day it came out, it still never grows old. Battlefront, in my opinion, is a clear pick for the best game of the past eleven years.
Best Parts: Playing as Han Solo, and taking out a Jedi/Sith really gets the blood pumping. But there’s also Galactic Conquest, where you and a friend or the AI fight it out over most all of the battlegrounds and in space for control of the galaxy. It takes a while, but taking a planet that you just haven’t been able to get away from your buddy is oh so satisfying.

Reg’s top 10 games of 2000-2010 (6-4)

Well, there’s the continuation of the list I started yesterday. Going to pick up where I left off and go through Number 4. Going to emphasize the fact that there will be spoilers for games, so if you’re sensitive to spoilers, don’t read the write-ups
Clocking in at number six, I’ve got something that’s arguably a game at best. Umineko no Naku Koro Ni is a Murder Mystery Visual Novel written by 07th Expansion and releases biyearly at Comiket. The premise is that 18 people (13 family members, 4 servants, 1 family friend) are on an island owned by the, uh, crazy old head of the family for their annual Family Conference. The old head’s about to roll over and die, and his children are trying to figure out what to do with his money because MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, THEY NEED LOTS OF MONEY RIGHT NOW! despite being incredibly rich. Starting with everybody going to bed, and continuing over the course of the next day, people start dying in seemingly-impossible ways. Closed Room murders are the standard, but other strange methods do exist, and people continue dying until nobody remains. Future Episodes tell the same story, but in different ways, and with events happening differently, and it’s up to the reader to solve the mysteries using close presented across the episodes. Best Parts: Whenever Beatrice and ahaha.wav are used in the same scene together. Also, the soundtrack. Full stop. Umineko has a soundtrack on par with the best I’ve ever heard, and with each new release, the number of awesome tracks grows.

At number five, I’ve got a game that I hold very dear to me if only for the amount of time I’ve sunk into it. Civilization IV is something of a “Build Your Own Empire” Turn-based strategy game. If you’re not familiar with the Civ series, shame on you. IV is the pinnacle of the series, and with the improvements made by its expansions, plays incredibly well. It’s incredibly easy to pick up, and incredibly difficult to get good at. It’ also just as addictive as its predecessors.
Best Part: Desert War. Full stop. As a History Buff, and a WW2 guy at that, this is quite literally something that appeals to my inner nerd and then some.

Shifting gears to Number 4, I’ve got the last Nintendo game on this list. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a thrilling, timeless adventure that takes everything Ocarina of Time did right (Which was a lot of stuff. I hold Ocarina in high regard) and improves on it. From start to finish, this is quite simply one of the best games I’ve ever played. People may look down on it for its time system, and while yes, that does get annoying at parts, I feel it contributes to the overall feel of the game. On that note, Majora’s Mask is probably the most grimdark setting in a Zelda game. Termina’s not bad, no, but you have a tangible threat to the world rather than “oooh Ganon’s going to do something EEEEEEEVIL”. The main story is short, but this game is packed full of sidequests to keep you coming back and giving you something to do.
Best Parts: Reuniting the Lovers (Bonus points if you stop the moon from crashing the same set of days). Beating the Great Bay Temple (It’s worse than the Water Temple in Ocarina, you know). And lastly, failing and watching the moon fall. It’s creepy as hell the first time, but damn is it fun to watch.

Reg’s top 10 games of 2000-2010 (10-7)

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything here. And I’m a gamer at heart, in spite of the fact that I haven’t played a new game in forever. I’ve got finals coming up, and I need to get my mind off the stress of my studies, so over the next few days, I’ll be talking about my top ten (+Honorable Mention) games of the past eleven years. Also, there will be Spoilers for most of these, for those who care.

My honorable mention goes to a game that I haven’t actually gotten to play, but A) it looks really damn good and B) It’s a remake of a game that I love to this very day. The game I’m talking about isn’t Pokemon, despite what you might be thinking, but rather Goldeneye 007 Wii. I still play the original Goldeneye 007 on my N64 with my brother at home when I get the chance, and while I’m not that big into shooters, nor that great at them, Goldeneye has this kind of charm that even its spiritual successor Perfect Dark can’t capture and is just incredibly fun for me. The Wii version brings 007 into the modern age of FPSes, complete with Online play, and I’d pick this up as soon as possible if my Wii was working, but alas it isn’t, and I haven’t gotten to play it yet.

Number 10 is probably the “edgiest” game on my list. As a general rule, I ten to gravitate more towards games that appeal to a younger crowd more, rather than games that are dark and edgy and “mature”. Nonetheless, Jak II grabs the 10th spot on my list by being a fun game that’s closer to a beat-’em-up than a platformer like its prequel. With its futuristic vibes and straight-up nature, combined with its story that delves into mindscrew territory at times, Jak II makes for a fun, if sometimes frustrating game.
Best Parts: Starting a one-man war against the KG (Bonus points if you have invincibility) and pretty much any mission to Dead Town.

Number 9’s the game I’ve spoken my piece on in my only other post to this blog so far, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. I could re-insert my rant on it, but I won’t. I’ll keep this one short, and just say that between the running/hunting levels (Shooting levels be damned), Chao Raising, the criminally underrated soundtrack and multiplayer, this is definitely a top-tier game that I’m glad I get to play as often as I do.
Best Parts: Pick a Sonic/Shadow level that doesn’t take place in space (City Escape is a personal favorite) and Chao Raising

Number 8 is the oldest game on this list, and probably the most well-known in mainstream circles. Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal is the second installment of the long-running handheld series, and arguably the best. It takes everything that was great about the originals (Sans the glitches. Sadly, most of them were removed) and improves on them to make a breathtaking experience. Sure, the enemy levels are comparatively low compared to the rest of the series (If I recall correctly, Lance maxes out at 53), but considering that Johto and the Elite Four only make up roughly half the game in terms of area, that’s no problem. This was a huge game for its time, and still continues to hold up even better than the later installments of its series. The reason this gets the nod over HG/SS is nostalgia, really. I just can’t let the lazy days where I sat around playing Gold Version get away from me. They were just too great.
Best Parts: Disembarking the SS Aqua to find yourself in Vermilion City and the endgame battle with Red

Number 7, on the other hand, is probably the newest game on this list, in terms of an English release, but it’s been around for a while in Japan. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale puts a unique spin on your typical RPG setting. Instead of being the adventurer going off and saving the world, you play the most under-appreciated part of the shopkeeper, who sells stuff to said heroes. After all, where would Cloud, Roy, or the DQV hero be without a shopkeeper to sell him upgraded armor and weapons when he needed them? Of course, you CAN play the part of the dungeoneer in order to find new wares to sell, but that takes a back seat to selling your stuff most of the time. The translation wasn’t released until earlier this year, but American audiences clearly appreciate this game as much as I do.
Best Parts: The Localization. Full stop. It’s a great game on its own, but the translation and localization just put it over the top.