Blog Archive

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

A Scale of Games from my Favourite to my Least Favourite

1. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

At the top of my list and definitively my favourite game of all time is Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The action adventure game, first released on N64 before being remastered and re-released on the Nintendo 3ds, is one of the grandest adventures gaming has ever seen, and lay the ground for great games even today. This is the first game I ever fully played through, and it drew me in with its fantastic characters and storyline, along with a myriad of secrets and collectibles to help keep you interested even when you have finished the main storyline. Couple this with an iconic and epic soundtrack; you probably have one of the greatest games ever made.  Despite having put in probably hundreds of hours into this game, I still go back to relive it and I am never disappointed with what I find.

2. Final Fantasy 10

Final Fantasy 10 holds a special place in my heart as it was the first game I played where I got well and truly stuck on a game, and had to grind for hours until I was strong enough to defeat the boss. The RPG, released by Squaresoft in 2001 for the PlayStation 2, had me hooked right from the beginning with its captivating characters and story, and has one of the most heartrending endings of any game I have ever played. Along with a fantastic storyline, you can spend hundreds of hours in the minigame, blitzball, and even more time trying to collect every characters secret weapon by doing honestly the most stupid minigame in existence by trying to win a race in a time of 0.0 seconds. If it wasn’t for this it would probably be number one on my list.

3. Telltales the Walking Dead

Telltales the Walking Dead, an episodic interactive drama, is a must play for anyone who wants to endure an emotional rollercoaster whilst playing a game, yet still enjoy one of the greatest story’s in gaming right now. Follow the story of Lee, the protagonist, Clementine, an 8 year old girl, and a bunch of other characters trying to survive in a world where the people are more dangerous than the zombies A game where each choice you make has consequences right throughout the game, whether it be huge choices like deciding which character lives or dies, and seemingly minute choices like whether you swear in front of Clementine. All of these decisions culminate in the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in gaming, and left me with tears in my eyes afterwards.

4. Dark Souls

Dark Souls is an action adventure game from Fromsoftware and is probably the most satisfying experience I’ve ever had in gaming. Known widely as one of the hardest games out there, it lives up to that reputation by being absolutely brutal. One mistake, and chances are you’ll be dead, especially against some of the tougher bosses. The thing I love most about dark souls is not just the difficulty of the game, it’s that there is so much you can change every time you play through it. You could play as a huge armoured tank one play through, then play as spell casting glass cannon. There’s so much variety to the game, and that’s before you start delving into the lore of the game. Due to the nature of Dark Souls’ story, you are not told much, apart from an opening cutscence. To find out the full story you must look at every piece of detail within the game, which is another game in itself when you try and piece all the clues together, and also leaves a lot for the player to speculate on. The combat is fantastic when you’re playing offline, however when doing online PvP there are a lot of latency issues which massively affect gameplay, and sometimes you can end up dying whilst being nowhere near the other player. All in all though dark souls is a fantastic game that everyone should try at least once, because it really is an experience like no other.

5. Skyrim

Skyrim, released by Bethesda Game Studios in 2011, is an action RPG that I have probably spent way too many hours in due to the vast amount of things there are to do in this game. The game features a huge open world full of little secrets to uncover, quests to solve, and, most importantly, dragons to kill. Despite seeming quite harmless from the outside, Skyrim includes a lot of darker themes within its game, such as racism, murder, blackmail and thievery. This adds to an already gripping storyline and creates a vast, complicated world for you to explore at your own pace. Furthermore, Skyrim allows you to choose you own path as you are not forced to follow the main storyline at all, making this truly feel like your own adventure. However, the reason this game is not higher up on my list is that, for me personally, things started to get a little bit repetitive once you finished most of the main storylines and side quests. It is worth noting though that I have only ever played this on Xbox 360 and I don’t have access to all the mods available on the PC version which means I have probably missed out on a tonne of content that would make me love this game even more than I already do.

6. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

A game where you are both an assassin and a pirate sounds like quite contrasting elements that wouldn’t realistically work together, but Ubisoft manage to create a game that is both fun to play, and feels like these two elements should go together all the time. The action-adventure game features a huge open world which you travel around using your very own upgradable pirate ship, taking on the enemy ships in colossal battles where you could sometimes be holding your own against the brunt of the English navy. For me personally, the open world exploration is the best thing about this game, especially when you find hidden islands with collectibles, or upgrade plans for your ship, and the game looks fantastic with its photorealistic style and the historically accurate places involved in the game. Where the game let’s me down however, is on land. Your characters movements can feel quite clunky at times, and the missions can be quite slow and sometimes very repetitive, especially when you have to just follow someone and stay out of sight. Being an Assassin’s Creed game, there is a lot of climbing involved, but sometimes it can be difficult to make your character move to the right place, or sometimes he will just jump off of a building to his death, but that might just be because I’m pretty bad at games. Either way, this game is fantastic in some areas, yet sometimes very frustrating in others which can leave not playing it for a while, which is why it is at number 6 on my list.

7. Football Manager 2015

This management simulation game is the game I have currently spent the most time on, with around 900 hours currently logged on Steam. The reason this game, developed by Sports Interactive, is so far down my list is due to the fact that it isn’t really something I will play exclusively for hours like other games. I will usually have this game on in the background whilst doing something else, such as watching TV or even playing another game. The problem is that due to the nature of the game, it doesn’t really draw me in, especially due to the fact that it takes a long time to even complete one full season. Even then, if you have the right tactic for the game, it also doesn’t become much of challenge either as you will be winning the majority of games without being a superior team, but just having a tactic that can exploit the match engine to the fullest. Despite this, the game is incredibly in-depth, allowing you to create any tactics you want and manage the majority of the teams all across the globe, from South Africa to China. It has an enormous database which includes almost all professional footballers in the world, and even some of the semi-professional clubs. This can allow you to do many challenges in the game to stop things getting too repetitive, but even then these challenges can take a long time to complete, allowing you to get bored before finishing them. If you are willing to take these challenges then the game becomes an incredible and diverse challenge, but for me personally, I don’t have the patience to complete these, and sometimes I can leave the game open, not doing anything because I have been distracted by something else, losing me to lose interest entirely.  

8. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Let me just start by saying that I don’t really have any problem with this game per say, it’s incredibly entertaining and fast-paced along with being essentially free to play, and the vast amount of cards allows you to create all manners of decks and ways to play. For me, the problem lay’s with the fact that in order to truly progress up through the rankings you have to access to some of the best cards in the game, as that’s what the majority of all the other players will have. In order to gain access to these cards you have to find them in packs, or gain them by completing story campaigns. The issue with this is that these things all need to be unlocked, and whilst it is possible to this without spending and real world money just by playing games and completing the daily quests in order to gain a gold reward, the sheer amount of time this takes is huge, and even then when you buy a pack your not guaranteed to get a good card. I think my main problem is that, as a relatively new player, the gap between someone who has just started the game and someone who has been playing the game for a few months is massive, not just in skill level, but the strength of the decks that they can access and use against you can make it very off putting for new players. This issue essentially makes this game very much a “pay to win” game, and is one of the things that can really put me off these types of games. The saving grace of this game that it is free to play, and it is possible to become great at this game and not spend any money, but it can make the first few weeks and months very frustrating.

9. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a game that I spent a lot of time playing when I was younger, but now I can’t understand why on earth I played so much of it. I think due to the fact that a lot of my friends played it as well it was a good way to socialize with them, but the game frustrated me no end when I tried to play it again recently. The First Person Shooter, developed by Infinity Ward, is the successor to one of the most ground breaking games of all time in Call of Duty Modern Warfare, yet for me, is nowhere near the game MW was. For starters, they tried to continue on with the story that essentially ended in MW, which led to quite a convoluted story, and due to the fact that I find the story of game to be one of the most important parts of a game, it really disappointed me. MW2’s main focus it seems was on the multiplayer, and for the most part it was generally a fun experience when playing with friends. However, drop into a game full of random people and chances are you’ll find people just using the cheapest methods to kill you, which is fine as it’s all part of the game, but it just adds to the frustration and makes the game sometimes feel incredibly unbalanced, making it one of the most unenjoyable experiences in gaming for me at some points.

10. FIFA 15

Due to my love of the sport of football, this game by EA Sports should be right up my street, and when it was released I was had incredibly high expectations for this game, considering all the hype that had surrounded the launch. Yet when I played it, it was an incredible disappointment. Yes it had all of the licenses for the players and the clubs, alongside the stadiums of all the Premier League Clubs, but it didn’t really seem to bring anything new to the table. It honestly just seemed like they had recreated FIFA 14 just with updated squads, which was incredibly disappointing for me. Furthermore, the Xbox 360 version that I own actually has less features than the previous game as they actually removed my favourite game mode, and only made it available on the next gen consoles of which I do not own. Another problem I have is that the main focus of the game was the ultimate team game mode, in which players play games to earn money in order to buy better players and so on. However, it was almost impossible to play enough games to be able to play the really good players, which meant that the only realistic way to get the majority of good players was to spend real money in order to by packs of players that still had no guarantee of getting a top player. To me, it just seemed like a money grabbing tactic used by EA to create more money, which I can understand as they are a company and they need to generate profit, I just wished they would have done it in a way that didn’t massively effect their main, and most popular, game mode.

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