Before I begin: I don’t like Game Over screens in Final Fantasy games. You die in DQ or DW, you lose half your gold and maybe have to pay to res your co-horts. It’s less stressful that you go to a dungeon, grab that precious item inside, and die on your way out because the boss handed your ass to you before you killed him and his minions got you. Die in FF? GAME OVER and you have to try from last save to accomplish your goals.
1.) Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (as a child, your turban wearing wierdo kid self is forced by Bianca on a “ghost hunt”. If you die, Bianca drags you back to inn by your ankle so you can rest. It’s some kinda loop because in the morning your dad is sick and needs to sleep. When you rest, Bianca wants to go again!) I plan on marrying each of the three possible brides on each of the three available game slots. DS version.
2.) Dragon Warrior 7 for being the premier of Artie Plaza’s nice setup. Rotatable sprites! PSone version.
3.) Dragon Quest 6 (Carver manically building a shed for the dwarf) DS version.
4.) Dragon Quest 8. PS2. Akira Torimaya artwork all the way! I’ll call this one a tie with Final Fantasy XII. This game is so serious and stuffy for some reason. I heard that it takes place in the same world as Final Fantasy Tactics. Ivalice. Square seems to have taken on high fantasy with this game. It’s like playing Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch series. The game is wholly ridiculous but I was engrossed by the game play mechanics. It’s the first voiced-over RPG of it series which I wasn’t practically yellin SHUT THE HELL UP!!!! at the screen. I can deal with Sega CD FMV games where you’re being chewed out for making mistakes and stuff. But I absolutely HATE you, Mr Jock Guy from FFX and all your friends from Kingdom Hearts.
5.) Final Fantasy VI. PSone version. Love the steampunk stuff and the way technology is both a good and bad in the world (like your castle that can submerge and change locations gets stuck underground.)
6.) Final Fantasy V. Why Final Fantasy V? Galuf. [spoiler]this old man falls from the sky while riding a meteor.
He hits his head or the meteor bounces off his noggin’ as it falls. He talks to animals.
He has amnesia and some of the ways he regains his memory are interesting. He has a
werewolf for a friend. He sees Cid’s son Mid beat him senseless and this causes him to remember
how his daughter beat him up for feeling old. [/spoiler]Or something. I have the Batman: Dark Knight poster and its tagline is “Why So SERIOUS?” written in blood.
The other two SNES entries into Final Fantasy (one is before, the other after V) are serious
affairs with a measure of majestic. What sticks with me from VI, beyond the Opera Scene,
is when you as Celes must catch fish and feed them to a wounded Cid on a deserted isle.
You have to make sure they are fresh and not rotten. If you do it right, Cid stays alive. If done
wrong, the depression hits Celes so hard that she jumps off a cliff in an attempt to die.
Her movement from the cliff top to the water is shockingly like the arc made by the flowers
she’d thrown during the opera scene.
And people talk about Aerith dying, but what about Cid from IV? He kamikazis off the side of the airship to protect his friends and blows up via a bomb. Several characters in IV commit some kind of noble sacrifice to hurry the plot along.
Dragon Warrior VII marks the series’ return to a console after lingering on GBC. It was the second time a seventh in a series debuted on PSone and it was too late to get much of an audience. Since then, Dragon Quest XIII broke the Dragon Warrior curse and brought beautiful renditions of good ol’ Akira Torimaya’s artwork. DWVII pioneered Artie Plaza’s style for three DS games. The game sadly suffers from being OVER-developed. You have to collect shards of broken tablets, go to the past where monsters roamed the earth, solve whatever catastrophe evil brought to sink the islands other than the one where the hero and his two friends lived. After you make do with heroism, you go to the present and sail a fishing boat to the new island to investigate any improvements.
I don’t know why there’s only one surviving island and so far that reason hasn’t been expressed. Look at the cover of the CD case for Dragon Warrior VII. The guy with red hair, Keifer is a crown prince who is friends with two fishing village people. He leaves your group fairly early in the past to live with a nomad woman. He’s eventually replaced by Gabo the Wolf Lad. I’m not kidding: I haven’t even finished disc one of two and I’ve owned the game since it first came to the USA. It amazes me that my little party of adventures can be so blithe. I don’t think I’ve revisited the fishing village for the longest time nor the castle. I only played in spurts on this one, letting it collect dust for awhile.
I even ventured into *gasp* MMOs and digital download computer games. I just fill up my “libraries” with titles which I have no interest in playing…
7.) Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Edition or whatever its called on PSP. (Didn’t feel like buying all the content for The After Years one after the other BUT you can’t skip around and must unlock the chapters linearally. ARGH! So maybe I WILL buy the DLC from Nintendo. My one gripe is that there’s oodles of versions released in USA. SNES’ Final Fantasy II (Wii Virtual Console), FF IV Advance, the PSP version, plus a 3Dish DS version. Oh, didn’t Cid die in FF IV???? But he’s alive and older in TAY…
8. Final Fantasy IX, for the end of an era. This is the game on PSone which is most faithful to the FANTASY of the series for both 8 and 16 bit instead of the mishmash of techno-stuff from the PSone and up.
9.) Dragon Quest IX… what can I say except “here there be angels.” This is a massive change from Nintendo’s censorship of religious stuff. Sure the angels are guardians. Or Celestrians.
10.) Dragon Warrior. Not an easy game and having to only save at the one castle is a real bummer. I at one point bought from Funcoland complete in box with manual a copy of DW III. The battery died and my game save was wiped so I stupidly returned the game to them for store credit. I have the GBC remakes but haven’t gotten far in them. I can tell you seeing that piggie guy from Dragon Ball turning into a knight from DW was mind bending because at the time I didn’t know Akira Torimaya illustrated for both projects. Amazing moment, carrying the princess in your character’s arms on the way from the dungeon to the castle. A moment referenced years later in FF IX. Hey, Mario, suck it!
Okay, non RPGs or atleast games not in FF OR DQ.
1.) The Black Cauldron, Tandy 1000 EX PC game. My first adventure game. Tied with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Also tied is Battle of Olympus. Also GC version of Twilight Princess where Link is Midna’s b i t c h.
2.) Shadowrun for SNES for its design. It seems like a port of a PC game but isn’t. I know most people like the Genesis version for graphics. Finally after all these years there’s a couple new Shadowrun games ‘Returns and ‘Online. Both are on Steam. Can’t wait to play!
3.) Fear Effect, PSone. I think I got to the second level once… game save erased somehow. This game is challenging. And in the second game your black haired spy girl has a blond girlfriend! It also gets a shocking that the girl who is kidnapped has her throat slit! WHOA!
4.) Metal Gear Solid SERIES. I’d rather not rank them one above the other. Snake Eater is the pinnacle of the series. Just hearing that Bondish theme song was amazing because you’re climbing up this long, long ladder up into the mountains after killing The End. (They shoulda done an Apocalypse Now & Forrest Gump send-up to this guy’s death. Say the parrot goes “My Final Friend!” and sets off a napalm strike and Snake has to boogey outta there. And as he’s treating himself for very painful burn injuries … oops… can’t use that one. That was a late 70s movie.
4 B.) MGS2: Good move, Konami, for showing off MGS: Virtual Missions of the PSone game footage during the narrative. I have no idea how many people actually played 1.0 of that thing. The choice to watch Snake’s actions from the eyes of rookie soldier Raiden was a .. uh… fantastic idea. Snake at first adopts the “Plisken” name which bridges the gap between this and the “Escape From” Kurt Russel movies. Too bad they never … wait… the cyborg ninja is a send up to Terminator as the uniform he wore for the cover of MG on NES was the same attire Kyle Reese wore in the future! Well, there shoulda been more of ‘em! Because Kojima afterall also directed Snatcher.
4 C.) Wearing the Cloaking Device in MGS! I loved that! You just runaround invisible and driving the guards absolutely insane! The only thing more badass is wearing the Raiden mask and the Raiden-ancestor’s uniform in Snake Eater. You salute guards, they salute you, then you kick the living crap outta them!!! Too bad the dogs aren’t fooled…
4 D.) MGS IV. Ugh. This one was sloppy. From its long loading sessions between missions where you just sit there watching Snake smoke a cigarette and get Surgeon General warnings between tips. What the hell was it even doing? Was the game that highly compressed that it had to save chunks of data onto the hard drive rather than go straight from the disc????? I know my one ex-friend liked that because he could take a smoke break, too. This game I’m pretty sure is a sequel to MGS 2 while Snake Eater is a prequel to MGS one.
The “Big Boss” guy’s series diverges from the Sold Snake one. I’m not sure MGS Portable Ops fits in with the series. From seeing footage of MGS V, I have say I’m not liking the look of the home base. It’s exactly like the “Plant” portion of MGS2 but painted all orange!
I wonder when the remake for Metal Gear happens? They actually made Peace Walker canon… So Big Boss series is Snake Eater then Peace Walker then MGS V.
Solid Snake series is Metal Gear, MG2 from MSX, MGS (skipping Snake’s Revenge), MGS2, and MGS IV. (He’s got some kinda progeria from the destabilizing of Fox Die in his system so that’s why he is old.)
I’m not a terrible fan of the “Fulton Recovery System” … How does that even work? Does a helicopter come flying by to grab that fast-moving parachute thing????
5.) Street Fighter Zero 3 for Sega Saturn.
6.) Panzer Dragoon Saga.
7.) I’d like to say “Shenmue 2” but I only played a few hours of that. I was doing that move-the-box job and I know I liked being able to pick my way through topics which you couldn’t do in the first game. Xbox and Game Cube both became sanctuaries for Sega Dreamcast and newer Sega games.
8.) Downloadable Games!!! This includes PSone games on PS3… GOG and Steam. I know I had a few on Gamefly…
Oh great. I forgot to rank one. Rise of the Dragon. Sega CD. This game features a girl dying of drug over-dose (she puts on something that looks like a nicotine patch, starts moaning and then abruptly screams). And this is the beginning of the game! The game isn’t FMV in the sense that they don’t just use digitized video footage. The lip-synching is bad. Instead of filmed, the characters are drawn. Animation is minmalistic. If you don’t like it being all green tints, play the silent DOS version…
If you go to the bar, here’s the procedure. Think twice about taking your gun. The bouncers will confiscate if you do NOT bribe them with a chocolate bar. If you give them one, you get a claim ticket. Otherwise leave the gun in the apartment. This game has some side-scrolling bits that are terrible… but only a mini-level at best.
Another favorite is Platoon for NES. You can’t pass level one without finding the explosives first. Once you get them, you cab cross the bridge and it blows up, not allowing any insurgents into the village. I like how every level of this game is unique with new challenges.