slimequest: (I make you touch poop)
[personal profile] slimequest
It's not really fair to me (or really possible) to pick just one, since I played so many good games last year. But here's a list of games that may or may not qualify to be on such a list, except that I just so happened to play them during 2010!

#1: GoTY 2010 that I actually began in very late 2009 and was originally released in 2007: Blue Dragon

It's a very retro-feeling JRPG on the Xbox 360 of all things. It looks like Dragon Quest, sounds like Final Fantasy, and is the impossible lovechild of 16- and 32-bit RPGs in HD. If any of those things sound appealing to you, you'd probably like Blue Dragon. For me, it was the first time in a while that I've had that feeling of being completely impressed and immersed in an RPG. Instead of trying to be gritty or angsty or reinvent the wheel or appeal to Westerners or anything like that, it was just a fun, colorful game that wasn't ashamed to be called "classic". It's the RPG I wish more RPGs were like.

#2: GoTY that actually came out in 1994 but was never released in English but I played the fan translation in 2010: Live A Live

This pretty much sums up my feelings about this game. Simply put, it's a must-play for anyone who even pretends to be interested in RPGs. 17 years later, it's still doing things that modern RPGs are afraid to do, and I doubt any remake of this game would do it justice. These tiny-assed sprites will break your mind and rock your world.

#3: GoTY that actually came out in 2010 which I actually haven't even beaten yet: Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light

A ridiculously cute-looking classic-styled RPG? With job classes? Yes, please! Again, an unabashedly oldschool game captures my heart. When it's not going out of its way to make you melt with cuteness, it's providing a solid RPG experience with crazy things like world maps and challenge added in. That being said, instead of four nameless palette swaps, the characters have personality which brings life to the traditional-style storyline. It really doesn't matter what the end of the game is like, this game has already done enough to win me over. (Besides, if reviewers don't have to play the whole game to critique a game, neither do I. But you'd have to use force to stop me from beating it)

#4: Okay, okay, GoTY that came out in 2010 that I have actually beaten (the main story, anyway): Dragon Quest IX

Obligatory? Probably. But really, DQIX is good. It's basically the most popular game in the series (III) with bells and whistles and somehow multiplayer thrown in for good measure. There's also a gigantic amount of postgame content that gets continuously updated via Wi-Fi, so it's the gift that keeps on giving. This also deserves a spot for the sheer amount of press this game got and the (hopefully) legions of new DQ fans it spawned. Seriously, there are even DQ9 commercials aimed at young girls. Traditional demographics be damned!

Honorable mentions (because I want to fit as many games into this post as possible):

- Retro Game Challenge: As a child of the 80s, this took me back. Look up hints in gaming magazines! Listen to your friend say stupid stuff while you play! Experience (fake) NES games!

- Valkyria Chronicles: No, seriously, this game was really really good and probably deserved a spot up there, even if it wasn't released in 2010. I mean, c'mon, a PS3 SRPG! With Aika and Vyse in it! And you get to crawl around in grass and drive tanks and... this game does everything right, basically.

- Resonance of Fate: The "real" plot taking a backseat to the wacky adventures of the main trio amused me to the very end. Actually, I would've been fine with them never explaining anything and just doing the boob dance during the end credits. Also, Motoi Sakuraba.

- Star Ocean 4 International: A good game with gratuitous Star Ocean 1 fanservice of all things, coupled with a more "Yeah, I'm going to land on your underdeveloped little planet, so what?" ST:TOS-style attitude. As usual, a fun battle system makes everything better... and guess what else does? Motoi Sakuraba.

I probably forgot about a bunch of other fun games I played, but I think I covered the essentials... looking back, 2010 wasn't so bad, gaming-wise. I keep thinking video games are doomed or something, but then I realize how many genuinely great games come out each year. And we always have those classics we never played to fall back on, right?

Date: 2011-01-08 12:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Games I also think deserve honorable mentions: Sakura Wars 5, Final Fantasy XIII, Ys Seven, Atelier Rorona, Etrian Odyssey III.

Date: 2011-01-08 09:35 pm (UTC)
ext_189275: (batsu~n)
From: [identity profile]
See, I knew I'd forget some games!

Sakura Wars 5 was great. I mean, it's a pseudo-dating sim SRPG, that's pretty damn unique. It was almost 100% about the story, but that's all I really expected anyway. Any game with characters that unique and amusing is a worthwhile playthrough. Even then, the battles were fun enough on their own. At least we finally got one of these games out here? Screw NISA for changing names and typos, though. Also: Peppermint.

I have mixed feelings about FFXIII, though. I thought the story was pretty good, although it had a few too many random throwaway characters and characters who were just never developed. On the other hand, the main cast was actually pretty interesting and kept me entertained.

Really, the big issue is that the game is just ridiculously linear, to the point where it felt like they were trying to take the exploration aspect out of RPGs. Almost all the dungeons were just tunnels with the occasional "turn left for treasure and a dead end, turn right to continue on" thrown in. About 90% of the locations in the game were areas you'd never be able to revisit again, and even the big "okay here's an area for you to explore and do sidequest in, now!" location felt like a little playpen to placate the people who'd complain about not having one.

So yeah, that really hurts the game in the long run. It's not so bad when you're actually playing through it the first time, since you mostly just want to see more of the story anyway, but looking back it really made the game much less memorable.

Oh, but the battle system is awesome and I liked the music a lot. Still, exploration and freedom is a huge part of why I like RPGs, and FFXIII just streamlined those things out in order to make the story more accessible, I thought.

Ys Seven, yes! I'd include Ys: The Oath in Felghana along with it too, since they both came out this year and were indeed worthy of mention. Ys Seven is interesting since you have a little party and can control people besides Adol (not that anyone really wants to, right?) and it's got more modern graphics and other things added in. Felghana is a remake of III which is the "bizarro" Ys game, made to be more of a typical entry in the series. But they tried really, REALLY hard to make it good, and it shows. Both games are worth playing in their own ways.

Although you're the one actually playing Atelier Rorona, and we technically haven't beaten it yet, it's definitely worth mentioning, too. It's like Annie but with a bit more interesting battle and exploration system. I also like the characters and art style of the game a lot. The fonts are ridiculously small even on an HDTV, but sadly it's not the only game out there like this. (see: SO4)

Etrian Odyssey III was something I was going to mention too. Maybe it's because neither of us played the first two, but it does feel like a breath of fresh air when it comes to Wizardry-like dungeon crawlers. Really, being able to make a party full of cute characters and sending them into dungeons to compulsively map every square inch is way more fun than you'd think. Also: this game is Patty-compatible.

One game I totally forgot about (I think I must've not been thinking about Wii games at all) is Super Mario Galaxy 2, because it managed to be more fun than the original somehow, even though I thought it would just be more of the same. Adding in Yoshi and Mario's disembodied head as the spaceship pretty much sealed the deal.

Date: 2011-01-08 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hesitated in adding FFXIII myself, but when I thought hard about it, I did end up enjoying it overall, despite the shortcomings. It would only receive an honorable mention on my list, too. Hopefully the epilogue will help satisfy my disappointment in the ending.

Had to add Rorona just because, plus you're watching me play. ^_~

I wasn't thinking outside the RPG box, but if I did, SMG2 would definitely be on there. Same with New Super Mario Bros. Wii... we played it in 2010, right?

Pokemon HGSS would only receive an honorable mention because it IS pretty awesome for what it is - it's not the game's fault I lost interest prior to beating it.

(I look forward to playing 4 Heroes of Light, by the way.)

Date: 2011-01-09 12:00 am (UTC)
ext_189275: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, the ending is one of those ambiguous ones which I kinda hate. It doesn't really give as much closure as it should, you know? I'm interested in seeing what the epilogue is like as well.

Oh yeah, pretty sure we did play NSMB Wii in 2010, at least mostly. That was definitely fun, and the multiplayer aspect really made it. I still don't know why there were two random toads as P3 and P4, though...

HGSS was awesome, too, since it's a remake of my favorite Pokemon games. Kinda sucks that we lost interest in Pokemon around the time it came out, though. Not really the game's fault, but it makes it harder to add it on the list that way.

Don't think I didn't notice that Aire icon! I made her a bard pretty often too, oddly enough. I should lend you my copy or set it up on your flashcart.

Date: 2011-01-09 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wouldn't mind using the flashcart for once. You're always letting me play the actual copies of other games, so it's my turn now. ;)

Date: 2011-01-09 12:19 am (UTC)
ext_189275: (*jab jab*)
From: [identity profile]
Then it's settled~

I needed a buddy to play the minigames with, anyway. Gotta rack up points for rare items and outfits, you know?

August 2012


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