Author Topic: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s  (Read 28208 times)

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Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #60 on: August 10, 2013, 04:08:32 PM »
I played F-Zero on the Wii Virtual Console in front of my 10 year old nephew earlier this year.  He heckled the game for its terrible graphics.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2013, 04:31:16 PM »
Master of Magic is and always will be one of my all time favorite games. It's very much like a cross between Civilization and Magic: The Gathering. One thing that MoM does that Civ V still doesn't let you do is load ground units onto ships. Why is this a difficult concept?


Offline Tyrant

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #62 on: August 10, 2013, 04:47:20 PM »
Ah, Silent Hill....

 LOVE LOVE LOVE this franchise but I have to be in a very special mood to play any of the games as it feels like I'm gearing up for battle or the dentist or something beforehand. I know too many folks who have said the same thing and most of them weren't able to even finish the first one. What Silent Hill does, it does extremely well.

  I also think the score might be one of the best ever composed for a video game. To call any of it actual music aside from the title themes and such is stretching the concept a bit though I guess it would fit in the ambient genre. I've had literal goosebumps just listening to the music much less playing the games.


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2013, 06:14:05 PM »
Master of Magic is and always will be one of my all time favorite games. It's very much like a cross between Civilization and Magic: The Gathering. One thing that MoM does that Civ V still doesn't let you do is load ground units onto ships. Why is this a difficult concept?

Because buying transport ships was an unnecessary complication in the game.

Practically every strategy game requires you to build a special ship to move stuff from place to place. Empire, Civ 1-4, Colonization, Age of Wonders, Space Empires, Empires of the Fading Suns, Moo, Imperialism, Sword of the Stars, SMAC, Spaceward Ho!, Victoria, Hearts of Iron, the Total War games... the list goes on and on. And they always caused problems. Players didn't like buying them. They were almost universally defenseless, and players don't like buying stuff that can't shoot or fight back. And they always caused AI issues. Either the AI couldn't defend the damn things, allowing the player to never have to worry about invasions, or they went hyper aggressive on them allowing a player to just pop out an empty transport as bait and then pick off the AI went as it after the transport while ignoring the actual threat. And then there were games like Master of Orion 3 where the AI's default option seems to have been "Build a troop ship" resulting in the AI empires (and you, as unless you were micro managing things, your planets would be trying to build them too) having hundreds of the blasted things rather than, you know, actual ships to defend themselves.

Civ V took the rather reasonable step of saying "You know what? After you get Optics, we're just going to assume that your troops can find a boat when they need one. They'll just fight worse on water to allow actual naval ships to be better, unless you're Polynesia or Songhai." Plus since another one of Civ V's design philosophies was "No more stacks of doom. One unit per hex" having special transport units wouldn't really fit with that.

Besides, if you're not casting water walk or flying on your stacks in Mom so that you didn't have to buy ships in the first place, then you were playing it wrong.


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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2013, 06:23:20 PM »
Only one from my list so far.  You Don't Know Jack didn't make it, but I did enjoy it.  The game show based on the game hosted by Paul Reubens seemed like a great idea, but I remember not finding it very good.  Mario Kart 64 beat the original Mario Kart by just being better and having a better sense of speed.  And Final Fantasy II didn't make my list, but it was my introduction to RPGs and was just really cool.  I never actually played, but I watched a friend play and thought it was really cool.


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2013, 06:40:28 PM »
 And, since Pak asked, let me promote Master of Magic.
 
Picture a Civ game. You start off with a city. You build stuff in it. You make (or conquer) more cities and then expand across the world.
 
Now add in fantasy races, both the traditional types (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Dark Elves, Halflings) and non standard ones (The Insectoid Klackons, who wandered in from Master of Orion, or the Draconoids). Now each race can build different things, both in towns and in units. Dwarves can build golems and steam cannons and have hammer heavy buildings. The dark elves can build stealthy Nightblades, who generally can't be seen. Elves can build longbows and pegasi riders. Klackons can build giant stag beetles to stampede over their foes. Beastmen, well, they can't build much at all. (The races weren't balanced.) Conquer an elf town, and that town can start building elf units to go with your little lizard folks.
 
Now add in your wizard, ruling the empire. Your wizard can specialize in 0-5 fields of magic and buy various skills. The more books in a certain field they have, the better spells that can be cast. Those spells can either enhance your units, or be used in combat or change things on the master map. Want to increase the gold yield of a city? There's a spell for that. Cast a slow spell in combat? There's a spell for that. Want a stack of firebreathing, flying invisible Paladins? You can do that too.  Want to say "I'm going Conan. To hell with magic!" You can do that too.
 
Now add in a tactical combat system. Attack another set of units or a city and you zoom into a turn based tactical combat. If you've seen games of Age of Wonders or Total War or Heroes of Might and Magic, well MoM is where they got the idea from. (Well, technically MoM got it from Master of Orion which came out from the same people.) A good set of units can drastically outfight much tougher foes.
 
Toss all of that together and you get Master of Magic. And some rather hefty bugs in the early versions, but the versions of the game currently out there have mostly fixed those.  It really did add a lot of ideas into the strategy game genre, including the idea of the "neutral stack of creatures that your unit could fight for gold and XP" which later showed up in Warcraft III and was then reused in every MOBA game, making Master of Magic DotA's grandparent.  So send Firaxis part of that Invitational cash, Valve.
 


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2013, 03:35:03 PM »
Yeah, I tried a few 0 spell book games. Can't remember if I ever actually won one (probably not). I was a fan of Alchemy and making my own Artifacts. Some of the ranged units in this game are ludicrously powerful (Halfling Slingers, I'm looking at you). Give your Archer hero (I forget her name) a seriously enchanted bow and she would lay waste to everything. And I remember there was a trick with Nightblades where you could just park them in front of an approaching army, and that's it. Nightblades are invisible, so they couldn't attack them. But they also couldn't walk through them, and were too stupid to just go around. So you could stall them indefinitely.

My favorite aspect of the game though were the spells like Call the Void, Armageddon and Zombie Mastery. Oh, so you want to take the world out with you? Well here's how to do it. You got your zombie apocalypse, the world wide version of Mt Vesuvius, or just flat out nuking other cities.   


Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2013, 04:46:47 PM »
#28 –Silent Hill

(44 Points) 2 of 16 Lists - Highest Ranking – #4 – Tyrant/Relaxing Dragon

This is the only game on my list that I didn't play as a kid (I was never a Playstation child). I finally got around to it within the past two years, and only then after first playing Silent Hill 2. It really says a lot about how well put together the atmosphere and style of this game is that it was still able to creep the bejeezus out of me. The graphics might be quite dated (which can be a killer in these old 3D games. It's like comparing the original Resident Evil to the GC remake; simply doesn't compare), but the fog was a brilliant touch to cover that up. Plus those ever-present feelings of dread and unease never go away, not with a soundtrack as hair-raisingly creepy as this one.

Weirdly enough, for both this game and the sequel, the one item I could always turn to for comfort (in game) is the map. It's probably the best style map I've ever encountered in a video game. Clean, easy to read, and (most importantly) it gets marked up once you go places. It's always so reassuring, always there for you, always set to let you know where you should start stumbling off to and where you never need to bother with again.

And then there was that one time I totally missed the map for an area, and didn't realize it until I was well and truly hopelessly lost. That was a dark, scary time...


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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2013, 08:49:25 PM »
My goodness, it's good to be back and to see a list that's run properly for once. I tried starting it up on another forum, and it really seemed I was the only one who cared about it. Anyway, I like the hell out of the first half of this list. I may have been a tiny bit young to play some of these games in their prime, but I've played a lot of them retroactively. These beans are quite cool.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #69 on: August 12, 2013, 09:05:25 PM »
#25 –Donkey Kong Country

(46 Points) 4 of 16 Lists - Highest Ranking – #7 - Monty
Back in my day, we used to have REAL gameplay... We didn't have any of this fancy 3D stuff!

Release Date:  November 21, 1994

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
Donkey Kong Country is a platform video game developed by Rare that was originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on November 21, 1994. Donkey Kong Country was the first Donkey Kong game that was not produced or directed by Shigeru Miyamoto, the character's original creator. It was produced by Tim Stamper instead, although Miyamoto was still involved with the project.
 
Following an intense marketing campaign, Donkey Kong Country received very high critical praise and sold over nine million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling Super Nintendo game.

Donkey Kong Country is a platform game where players must complete forty different side-scrolling levels and recover the Kongs' banana hoard, which has been stolen by the Kremlings. Each level is uniquely themed and consists of varying tasks such as swimming, riding in mine carts, launching out of barrel cannons, or swinging from vine to vine. Players lose a life if they get hit by any enemy or fall off the screen. To defeat an enemy, players can either execute a roll, jump or groundslam (a move reserved only for Donkey Kong). However, some enemies cannot be taken down like this, so the player must throw a barrel or use the assistance of an animal. Enemies vary in difficulty, usually becoming tougher to take down as the game progresses. When the player has lost all their lives, the game is over. However, the player can gain additional lives by collecting items scattered throughout the levels, including bananas; golden letters that spell out K–O–N–G; extra life balloons; and golden animal tokens that lead to bonus levels. There are also many secret passages that can lead to bonus games where the player can earn additional lives or other items.
 
Players of Donkey Kong Country control one of two characters: Donkey Kong or his nephew Diddy. The player can switch between characters if they are both on the screen. Donkey is the larger and stronger of the two, and can defeat enemies more easily. Diddy is faster and more agile, but not as powerful. In several levels, players can gain assistance from various animals, who are found by breaking open crates. These helpers include Rambi the Rhino, Expresso the Ostrich, Enguarde the Swordfish, Winky the Frog, and Squawks the Parrot. Each animal can be found in an appropriately themed level: for example, Enguarde can only be found underwater, and Squawks will be found in caves. Some animals can also give players access to bonus games.
 
The game offers single-player and multiplayer game modes. Multiplayer allows two players to play alternatively in one of two different modes: the competitive "Contest" mode or the cooperative "Team" mode. In Contest mode, each player controls a different set of Kongs and take turns playing each level as quickly as possible; the objective is to complete the most levels in the fastest time. In Team mode, each player takes the role of one of the two Kongs and play as a tag team: the active player's Kong will control the progression of the two players while the other player is dormant; the other player takes control if the active player loses his Kong from damage or if the active decides to switch out.
 
Donkey Kong Country uses a series of map screens to track the players' progress. Between each level, players control their character on the map screen, navigating to the next level they want to play. Each level on the map is marked with an icon: unfinished levels are marked by Kremlings (the game's main enemy), while friendly areas are marked by members of the Kong family. Every individual world map screen has one boss enemy at the end of the course, which must be defeated to travel back to the main map screen of the whole island. It is possible to access previous world maps without defeating the boss by finding Funky Kong and borrowing his barrel plane. Players use this ability to select the world from the main screen, then the level within it. During play the game interface hides most game-related information, such as the number of bananas, letters, and animal tokens collected, as well as the number of lives remaining. When an item is collected, the relevant information briefly appears on the screen.

The game was revolutionary in that it was one of the first games for a mainstream home video game console to use pre-rendered 3D graphics. It was a technique that was also used in the 1993 Finnish game Stardust for Amiga and Rare's Killer Instinct. Many later 3D video games also used pre-rendered 3D together with fully 3D objects. Rare took significant financial risks in purchasing the expensive SGI equipment used to render the graphics. A new compression technique they developed in house allowed them to incorporate more detail and animation for each sprite for a given memory footprint than previously achieved on the SNES, which better captured the pre-rendered graphics. Both Nintendo and Rare refer to the technique for the creating the game's graphics as "ACM" (Advanced Computer Modeling).

Pak's Thoughts – It wasn’t too hard to beat Donkey Kong Country, but it was a tough game to max out. The save file taunted me and I spent a solid week playing the game and jumping down every suspicious pit in search of secret areas. I eventually got the save file up to 99%, which I think was the maximum, since it didn’t save after beating the game. Either that or I missed something somewhere. Still had a lot of fun, and those graphics were really something in their day.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2013, 09:05:57 PM »
#24 –Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

(47 Points) 4 of 16 Lists - Highest Ranking – #8 – Pak-Man
Hey, Shredder! Bring that statue back, you bloated beanbag!

Release Date:  September 18, 1991

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, released as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: Turtles in Time in Europe, is an arcade video game produced by Konami. A sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) arcade game, it is a scrolling beat 'em up based mainly on the 1987 TMNT animated series. Originally an arcade game, Turtles in Time was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992, whereupon it was retitled to serve as a sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. That same year, a game that borrowed many elements, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist was released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
 
Up to four players (two players in the SNES version) can take control of Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, and Raphael. Each playable character has his own strengths and weaknesses. New features in this game include the ability to execute a power attack by hitting an enemy several times in a row, and the ability to slam Foot Soldiers into surrounding enemies.
 
The game features the same control scheme of the previous arcade release—a joystick for movement, an attack button and a jump button. Certain joystick/button combinations can make a Turtle run, perform a slide or dash attack, jump higher, perform a stationary or directed air attack, or perform a special attack. Players guide the turtles through a series of levels, starting out in the streets of New York City before being transported to levels representing various eras of history. In each level, players face enemies from both the 1987 cartoon and the feature film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, including foot soldiers, stone warriors and Tokka and Rahzar as end-of-level bosses.

The introductory cut scene of the game details the game's plot. It begins with the Turtles watching a TV newscast on a Sunday evening, with April O'Neil reporting from Liberty Island. Suddenly, Krang flies in using a giant exosuit (seen occasionally in the animated series) and steals the Statue of Liberty, moments before Shredder hijacks the airwaves to laugh at the Turtles.
 
The Turtles jump into action in downtown New York and pursue the Foot to the streets and the city sewers (then to the Technodrome in the SNES version), where Shredder sends them through a time warp. The Turtles must fight Shredder's army in both the past and the future in order to get home.

Pak's Thoughts – Before the home version came out, me and my cousin decided to take down the arcade game. It took us $20 each, but we managed to beat the whole thing. When it came out on the SNES, it was an insta-buy, and me and my brothers beat it again and again. We were never able to pull it off without the Konami code, though.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2013, 09:06:21 PM »
#23 –Super Smash Bros.

(49 Points) 4 of 16 Lists - Highest Ranking – #10 – Johnny Unusual
Show me your moves!

Release Date:  January 21, 1999

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
Super Smash Bros., released in Japan as Nintendo All Star! Dairantō Smash Brothers, is a fighting game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was released in Japan on January 21, 1999, in North America on April 26, 1999, and in Europe on November 19, 1999. Super Smash Bros. is the first game in the Super Smash Bros. series, followed by Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube in 2001, Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii in 2008, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, expected to release in 2014 on the 3DS and Wii U systems.
 
The game is a crossover between several different Nintendo franchises, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Kirby. Super Smash Bros. received mostly positive reviews from the media and was commercially successful, selling over 4.9 million copies, with 2.93 million sold in the United States and 1.97 million copies sold in Japan.

The Super Smash Bros. series is a departure from many fighting games; instead of winning by depleting an opponent's life bar, Smash Bros. players seek to knock opposing characters off a stage. Each player has a damage total, represented by a percentage, which rises as damage is taken and can exceed 100%, with a maximum damage of 999%. As this percentage rises, the character can be knocked progressively farther by an opponent's attacks. To KO an opponent, the player must send that character flying off the edge of the stage, which is not an enclosed arena but rather an area with open boundaries, many suspended in an otherwise empty space. When knocked off the stage, a character may use jumping moves in an attempt to return; some characters have longer-ranged jumps and may have an easier time "recovering" than others. Additionally, characters have different weights, making it harder for heavier opponents to be knocked off the edge, but reciprocally harder for them to recover once sent flying.
 
While games such as Street Fighter and Tekken require players to memorize relatively lengthy and complicated button-input combinations often specific to only a particular character, Super Smash Bros. uses the same control combinations to access all moves for all characters. Characters are additionally not limited to only facing opponents, instead being allowed to run around freely on the stage. The game focuses more on aerial and platforming skills than other fighting games, with relatively larger, more-dynamic stages rather than a simple flat platform. Smash Bros. also implements blocking and dodging mechanics. Grabbing and throwing other characters are also possible.
 
Various weapons and power-ups can be used in battle to inflict damage, recover health, or dispense additional items. They fall randomly onto the stage in the form of items from Nintendo franchises, such as Koopa shells, hammers, and Poké Balls. The nine multiplayer stages are locations taken from or in the style of Nintendo franchises, such as Planet Zebes from Metroid and Sector Z from Star Fox. Although stages are rendered in three dimensions, players can only move within a two-dimensional plane. Stages are dynamic, ranging from simple moving platforms to dramatic alterations of the entire stage. Each stage offers unique gameplay and strategic motives, making the chosen stage an additional factor in the fight.
 
Up to four people can play in multiplayer mode, which has specific rules predetermined by the players. Stock and timed matches are two of the multiplayer modes of play. This gives each player a certain amount of lives or a selected time limit, before beginning the match. Free for all or team battles are also of choice during matches using stock or time. A winner is declared once time runs out, or if all players except one or a team has lost all of their lives. A multiplayer game may also end in a tie if two or more players have the same score when time expires, which causes the round to end in sudden death.

With only a small budget and little promotion, Super Smash Bros. was intended to be released only in Japan, but its huge success there saw the game released worldwide. Super Smash Bros. was commercially successful, and became a Nintendo 64 Player's Choice title. In Japan, 1.97 million copies were sold, and 2.93 million have been sold in the United States as of 2008.

Pak's Thoughts – This game is pure gaming euphoria for any fan of Nintendo. The fact that it contained 2 of my personal favorite Nintendo characters (Ness and Jigglypuff – Too bad they didn’t control well…) was just icing. It kept me busy, too, because there always seemed to be something new to unlock.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2013, 09:06:38 PM »
#22 –Day of the Tentacle

(51 Points) 4 of 16 Lists - Highest Ranking – #5 - ColeStratton
You know what they say: "If you want to save the world, you have to push a few old ladies down the stairs."

Release Date:  June 1993

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
Day of the Tentacle, also known as Maniac Mansion II: Day of the Tentacle, is a 1993 graphic adventure game developed and published by LucasArts. It is the sequel to the 1987 game Maniac Mansion. The game's plot follows Bernard Bernoulli and his friends Hoagie and Laverne as they attempt to stop the evil Purple Tentacle—a sentient, disembodied tentacle—from taking over the world. The player takes control of the three and solves puzzles while using time travel to explore different periods of history.
 
Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer co-led the game's development, their first time in such a role. The pair carried over a limited amount of elements from Maniac Mansion and forwent the character selection aspect to simplify development. Inspirations included Chuck Jones cartoons and the history of the United States. Day of the Tentacle is the eighth LucasArts title to use the SCUMM engine, and the company's first title to feature voice acting.
 
The game was released simultaneously on floppy disk and CD-ROM to critical acclaim and commercial success. Critics focused on its cartoon-style visuals and comedic elements. Day of the Tentacle has featured regularly in lists of "top" games published more than a decade after its release, and aspects have been referenced in popular culture.

Day of the Tentacle follows the point-and-click two-dimensional adventure game formula, first established by the original Maniac Mansion. Players direct the controllable characters around the game world by clicking with the computer mouse. To interact with the game world, players choose from a set of nine commands arrayed on the screen (such as "pick up", "use", or "talk to") and then on an object in the world. This was the last SCUMM game to use the original interface of having the bottom of the screen being taken up by a verb selection and inventory; starting with the next game to use the SCUMM engine, Sam & Max Hit the Road, the engine was modified to scroll through a more concise list of verbs with the right mouse button and having the inventory on a separate screen.
 
Day of the Tentacle uses time travel extensively; early in the game, the three main protagonists are separated across time by the effects of a faulty time machine. The player, after completing certain puzzles, can then freely switch between these characters, interacting with the game's world in the separate time periods. Certain small inventory items can be shared by placing the item into the "Chron-o-Johns", modified portable toilets that instantly transport objects to the other time period, while other items are shared by simply leaving the item in a past time period to be picked up by a character in a future period. Changes made to a past time period will affect a future one, and many of the game's puzzles are based on the effect of time travel, aging of certain items, and alterations of the time stream. For example, one puzzle requires the player, while in the future era where Purple Tentacle has succeeded, to send a medical chart of a Tentacle back to the past, having it used as the design of the American flag, then collecting one such flag in the future to be used as a Tentacle disguise to allow that character to roam freely.
 
In Maniac Mansion, the playable characters can be killed by various sequences of events. LucasArts adopted a different philosophy towards its adventure games in 1990, beginning with Loom. Their philosophy was that the game should not punish the player for exploring the game world. Accordingly, in most LucasArts adventure games released after Loom, including Day of the Tentacle, the player character cannot die.
 
The whole original Maniac Mansion game can be played on a computer resembling a Commodore 64 inside the Day of the Tentacle game; this practice has since been repeated by other game developers, but at the time of Day of the Tentacle's release, it was unprecedented.

Pak's Thoughts – After Sam & Max, this game cemented my love of LucasArts adventure games. The graphics were beautiful in their day, the animation was awesome and the voice acting was sublime. Bernard, Hoagie and Laverne were all full of so much personality. I clicked on EVERYTHING as many times as was necessary to hear everything they had to say.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2013, 09:07:17 PM »
#21 –Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

(51 Points) 4 of 16 Lists - Highest Ranking – #2 – Thrifty Version II
What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk... Have at you!

Release Date:  March 20, 1997

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Konami in 1997. It is the direct sequel to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and features Dracula's dhampir son, Alucard, as the protagonist. Its initial commercial success was limited, but it was critically praised, gained sales through word-of-mouth and eventually became a hit; GameRankings and Metacritic list its approval score for the original PlayStation version at or above 93%. It has since been re-released on several other gaming consoles and is now usually considered a sleeper hit and a cult classic of video gaming.
 
Symphony of the Night was an important milestone of the Castlevania series. It steered the series away from the standard level-by-level platforming formula of older titles and introduced a new style of open-ended gameplay mixed with role-playing game-like elements that would be emulated by most of its successors. A similar, earlier form of this type of gameplay existed in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.

Like many installments of the Castlevania series, Symphony of the Night uses a 2D side-scrolling style of gameplay. The objective of the game is to guide primary player character Alucard through the undead-filled castle, as he sets out to defeat the vampire Dracula. Symphony of the Night follows a nonlinear style of gameplay; at the game's beginning, Alucard can only access certain areas of the castle, but by obtaining the three forms (a wolf, bat, and mist) that he can shapeshift into, he gradually explores the castle. A map carried by Alucard automatically updates to reflect the player's progress through the castle. While previous protagonists of the series have traditionally used whips as their main weapon, Alucard can find and use weapons ranging from edged weapons—typically swords and knives—to knuckles and expendable items, such as neutron bombs or javelins. He can also obtain health restoratives, various equipment and items to boost his attributes; all located on an inventory. Relics found throughout the castle will provide him with different abilities, such as being able to double jump. A bestiary kept by the castle's librarian, who also functions as a shopkeeper, shows the different monsters encounted by the player, and the items they dropped when defeated.
 
Additionally, Symphony of the Night incorporates elements found in role-playing games. His hit points determine the maximum amount of damage he can withstand before dying, while his magic points decide how often a magical attack may be cast. Additionally, he possesses four other attributes: strength, the power of his physical attack; defense, his resilience to damage inflicted by the monsters; intelligence, the recovery speed of magic points; and luck, the frequency of items dropped by enemies. Defeating monsters provides him with experience points, and he will level up after reaching a predetermined amount, increasing his attributes in the process. Alucard may cast eight different spells, which requires the player to input directional combinations and will use up varying amounts of his magic points. Over the course of the game, Alucard can acquire the ability to summon familiars: they function as complementary entities, aiding him in battle and exploration. The North American version of the game includes the Fairy, Demon, Ghost, Bat, and Sword familiars. The original Japanese version of the game included the Nose Devil (functionally identical to the Demon, but with a Tengu mask) and Pixie familiars as well.
 
Alternative modes of gameplay can be unlocked after the completion of the game. By inputting Richter Belmont's name as the user name, the player can choose to play as him; Richter uses a whip as his primary weapon and various subweapons. In addition to Richter Mode, you can also input AXEARMOR as a name and it will grant Alucard with the Axe Lord Armor item which will transform his sprite into an axe armor.  Two other alternative modes see Alucard as the player character, but with certain items, and increased or decreased attributes.

Pak's Thoughts – Metroid and Castlevania are two great tastes that taste great together. It was here that “Metroid-Style” gameplay became known as “Metroidvania.” Exploring the corridors and filling out the map was a fun and challenging affair. We had imported the Sega Saturn version, which meant I got to select more playable characters, but had no idea what the story was until years later, when I downloaded it on Xbox Live Arcade (My first download!).

That’s it for tonight! I MIGHT not be able to get the next 5 up tomorrow, and in the event that I can’t, I’ll be posting 10 up on Wednesday. Everything from here on reads like a list of games that every gamer worth their salt should play at least once. Discuss!


Offline Rainbow Dash

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Re: LoC 73 - Top 50 Video Games of the '90s
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2013, 09:10:13 PM »
So, can anyone here beat Symphony of the Night without the sword of ultimate bullshit that is the Crissagrim?

Because I sure can't.  I love that sword.