Thursday, April 30, 2009

Top 10 PS1 games (Guest Blogger)

So I am ashamed to admit that I only played 3 or 4 games on the PS1. Mostly because my sister owned the system at home and I was too cheap to buy games in college. But I didn't want to leave the system out because I REALLY enjoyed the games I did play. So here to guest blog for me is my sister Maureen. I approve of her rankings, and I will add my own thoughts in parentheses at the end of each summary.

1. Final Fantasy VII

Anyone who doesn't think this game deserves first place probably didn't play it when it first came out and has since been jaded by the hype. It was the first game I ever played with cinemagraphic cut scenes, which was like, unheard of at the time, and also incredibly awesome. This is all without even taking into consideration the mind blowing plot (it blew my mind at least three times, for the record), the memorable characters and music, and the best magic/equipment system of all time: materia. If you didn't like materia, you don't have a soul. Period. (For me, this is the game that made Video Games an art form, not just a hobby. Probably my favorite game ever. Plus it had a dude with a gun for a hand. Sweet!)

2. Chrono Cross

If you didn't play Chrono Trigger, then you missed out. If you didn't play Chrono Cross, then I will cut you. 45 possible playable characters? Multiple endings? New game +? Are you serious? This game kicked so much butt I didn't know what to do with myself. As a sequel, I thought it was going more down the Final Fantasy road in that it didn't really have much to do with Chrono Trigger, but -- well, not to spoil anything, but it totally does. And it is awesome. (I did not play this game, but I watched my roommate play it a lot. I would like to get to this game in my lifetime. I anticipate having lots of free time when my kids go to college....)

3. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

This was the first Castlevania game I really played, mostly because I sucked at all other previous versions. It opens by giving you a taste of Alucard's best equipment and abilities, and then Death pulls a totally jerk move and steals your powers. So not cool. You basically spend the game exploring this gigantic castle and building up equipment and abilities, and if you can get past the side-scrolling 2D style, it's a worthy investment. It even has multiple endings! PS, here's a protip that took me 22 years to figure out: ALUCARD IS DRACLUA BACKWARDS. (I played Castlevania was really hard! The last Castlevania game I ever played.....)

4: Metal Gear Solid

Would you rather sneak around on your belly and hide in boxes than take on a room full of terrorists? Then this game is for you. It's pretty much the first and only series of "stealth action" video games I've ever played, but even if there were more, it would still probably be the best. It introduced voice acting in video games to me, and although Mei Ling's voice made me want to go on a shooting spree more than once, it was still great. The protagonist Snake is still popular enough to be included in games like Super Smash Bros., which is a freaking Nintendo game. Yeah, it's that good. (Note: Castlevania also had voice acting, but I didn't play that until I was 20 or so. Also, it sucked. The words "HAVE AT YOU!" were actually said.)(My note: I suck at stealth games. I am more of a "guns blazin'" gamer. I would make a terrible soldier in real life.)

5: Tekken 3

I'm not gonna lie: I call this the Street Fighter of the Playstation. Is it as good as Street Fighter II? Debatable. Is it still really freaking good? Yes. Completely worthy of having friends over to have epic tournaments. It's still a fan favorite online, too -- I believe you can download an emulator and battle with like, kids in Tokyo, if you're feeling particularly like getting your butt kicked. Definitely the best fighter game on the system. (How did I never play this game? Oh yeah, I sucked at fighter games and always conveniently convinced friends to play NFL 2k1 instead.)

6. Final Fantasy VIII

A lot of people take issue with the junction system in this, but you know what? Those people probably didn't read the tutorial, because it wasn't really that hard. Junctioning systems aside, this game tried to live up to FF7 in plot twists, and possibly went a little overboard. Time-traveling sorceresses and endless paradoxes? Eesh. Luckily, it made up for it with a love story that didn't end tragically in death, and also a gun-toting redhead in a cowboy hat. Other highlights include the Ragnarok, one of my favorite airships of all time, going into freakin' space, and traveling back in time to play as your dad. Yeah, you read that right. It was cool. (I am ashamed I didn't play this one either. Again, when you don't own the system in college, its hard to convince your buddies to let you play a 40 hour RPG on their system)

7. Final Fantasy IX

This game was basically a big bundle of references and tips of the hat to all its predecessors, but it still managed to keep its own plot interesting without being trite. I still take issue with the fact that the main character's limit break turns him pink and naked, but no game is perfect, I suppose. Because this game was a big homage to all the others, it had all the stuff I enjoyed: going to the moon, performing in a play/opera, and an older brother who wears a thong. ...Wait. Not that last one. That was still weird. (I liked this game, although the big drama moment was a haircut. For the record I would not and should not ever wear a thong)

8. Resident Evil 2

Worst voice acting of all time? Yes. First game that legitimately scared the crap out of me? Yes. This game had me so scared of zombies that I had to ask my friend to stand outside the door while I went to the bathroom after the first time I played it. It offered you a choice between two characters, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, and also gave you the chance to play the same scenario from the other character's point of view after you completed it. Lickers still scare the crap out of me. (I have also never played a survival/horror game. Honestly, I blame it on all the Mario Kart, Mario Golf, Perfect Dark, Madden and NCAA Football I have played in my life. I wished I hadn't played so much sports.)

9. Tomb Raider

Girls enjoyed having a female main character to kick butt with. Boys enjoyed the view. Duel-pistol wielding Lara Croft was pretty but deadly, and it was awesome to watch her backflip her way through a dungeon while shooting bears. Overall, the game had a good balance of general butt-kicking vs puzzles and stealth. Oddly enough, one of the things I enjoyed most was the various ways in which Lara could die. Falling, drowning, electrocution -- the whole game was a deathtrap. And I liked it. (....I saw the movie? Sounds like I would have liked this game, but I feared the repercussions of the "Lara factor" from both girls and guys alike.)

10. Dance Dance Revolution: Konamix

You know the crazy people on the DDR machines at the bowling alley and movie theatres? Yeah, there was a home version, too. The DDR mat was flimsy and I frequently had to adjust mid-song, but I still enjoyed it. DDR continues to be a unique experience that only jerkwads like Dave and Busters try to recreate. Also the only game I know to measure difficulty in feet. Also good for exercise! (I like this game, even though I am below average at it. It got gamers to say "Tonight, I just wanna dance!")


Ian said...

Great list! I'll have to come up with my own. When I get home from work.

It will be a tough decision on which goes on top: Final Fantasy VII or Chrono Cross. Being a roommate who played Chrono Cross a lot, I'll probably put it at #1.

Maureen said...

what friggin' genius came up with THIS list? ...oh right, ME. 8D