Dashed Expectations

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:32 pm 
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2006 - Ōkami

Around the end of the year, and the end of this console generation, there were two different grand adventures that had our protagonist take the shape of a wolf. While one was far more anticipated and successful, I think Kamiya Clover Studio's little tale was the much better game overall.

Ōkami takes place in a more fantastical part of Japan, where many myths and legends of the country are made real. You play the role of Amaterasu, the Shinto goddess of the sun, taking on the appearance of a pure white wolf. She had battled the fierce 8 headed serpent, the Yamato no Orochi, along with master swordsman Nagi, and saved the village of Kamiki from its terrible ritual of sacrificing maidens. However, the great wolf sacrificed its life for those and a statue was erected in its honour. Several years later, Orochi was been resurrected thanks to one man's foolishness, and darkness once again covers the land of Nippon. But with the blessings of Sakuya, Amaterasu, origin of all that is good and mother to us all, is brought back to the land to bring light from her sun once more.

The immediate thing that stands out is that the sharp edges of the graphics make it look like it came right off a canvas, and that is pretty much exactly what the team was trying to achieve. This isn't just a stylized look, however; It is integral to the game! Amaterasu has power over what's known as the Celestial Brush, which lets her literally paint calligraphy onto the game screen. By creating various shapes with the brush, different things can happen, such as creating bridges, growing trees, calling upon the sun or the moon, and many more. Although, due to her long slumber, Amaterasu has lost many of her original powers and must seek out the other Celestial Gods to get all of her powers back.

Of course, the forces of darkness will stop at nothing to remove this threat to their vile deeds, but Ammy is far more than capable of dealing with threats. On top of being able to use the brush to deal damage to enemies, she also has access to a multitude of weapons that can be used in combat, such as reflectors, beads, and even swords, with each one playing differently from the other and each style excelling better against certain enemies.

One thing I found to be incredibly fascinating about this title is how much Japanese folklore was crammed into it. It's kind of like Shrek, minus incredibly dated pop culture references. It would be exhausting to list them all, but it's worth looking into if you are interested. For anyone with even an inkling of Japanese tales, this is a must look at...even if many of the portrayals of the game have the tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

And wow, is this game just gorgeous to look at! Another example of how art style triumphs over pure graphical power. It is literally a painting come to life. I didn't want to leave for a long time, which is good because this is a very long game indeed. Even when you think it's going to end, another curve ball is thrown your way!

It's a shame Clover shut down not long after this game came out. They deserved so much more acclaim and sales.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:32 pm 
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2007 - Super Mario Galaxy

The Wii had taken the world by storm at this point, though it was mostly for its very easy to understand controller where the motions of it reflected into the game itself. This was all fine and dandy for more casual players who may not have gotten into video games before, but what about those who were a bit more advanced?

Thankfully, Super Mario Galaxy was there to save us, bringing us probably his best 3D adventure ever. It's the same song and dance your used to: Bowser kidnaps Peach and Mario has to save her, but now it has been taken into the reaches of outer space.

By running across various different sized planets and soaring through like a comet, our favourite plumber makes use of mechanics involving gravity itself in order to traverse the various different star systems as he collects Power Stars to try and find his way to the center of the universe, where Peach is held. It gives a fresh new perspective on what we thought we already knew about platformers. You could jump up and then suddenly get pulled by another planet's gravitational force.

And each set of worlds feature that same Grade A level design you've come to expect, with new mechanics and power ups all the way through. He can fly as a bee, be pushed around in a bubble, surf on a manta ray, and much more.

And if just finding the stars isn't enough, there's even the added difficulty of all the different Comet Stars, where you take on an already completed challenge but with an added twist, such as a strict time limit, obstacles moving faster, or even having to defeat a boss with only one hit point.

Honestly, it's one of the most fun I've ever had with a 3D Mario game ever. It truly is one of the great ones in his library.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:36 am 
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2008 - Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness

This one is a bit of an odd one to add, no doubt. Many reviews really place these games rather low and I'm positive there are actually better quality titles out there...but for me, this game, and the series as a whole, is one that I find to be very personal.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness is the second set of games in this subseries by Chunsoft, released in time for the 4th Generation of Pokémon. These titles are what's known as a Roguelike, a gameplay style where you explore randomly generated areas in a tile based movement scheme. But the catch is that nothing moves until you do, so it's very turn based without actually looking turn based. You have access to the standard Pokémon movepool, though the attacks are very different from how they are portrayed in the main games. For example, a Thunderbolt, while being a standard powerful attack in the main games against a singular Pokémon, is now an AoE attack that hits all opponents surrounding you. Because of this, you need to create more, how we say, interesting movepools when going through these "mystery dungeons."

However, the gameplay itself isn't why I keep coming back to this game and others from its series. Far from it. In fact, it can get old relatively quickly and I wouldn't put any blame on you if you grow tired of it. Instead, this is a game I adore purely for its story. Pokémon games aren't known for their deep storytelling, but this series always has the best writing in the entire franchise.

It begins when our protagonist (you) wakes up to find out they've been turned into a Pokémon, but you have lost all of your memory of how that came to be. You befriend another Pokémon who is trying to be a great explorer, though is very timid to go sign up all alone. The two of you manage to join Wigglytuff's Guild and begin your journey to see what these mystery dungeons have waiting for you. However, a vicious plot is happening behind the scenes as time is standing still in various locations, and if this isn't stopped soon, the world will end.

It doesn't sound like much on paper, but the character interactions as you progress really sells it for me as a lot of them really do act like the Pokémon we know and love, with you being the odd one out. In truth, these kinds of stories have always fascinated me growing up, where an average person is suddenly pulled out of their comfort zone and forced to mingle with a new culture, sometimes, though not always, involving involuntary transformation, as is the case here. It is a neat little experience to play as "you" in a theoretical scenario where you are no longer human and need to blend in.

In fact, I became so affixed with this series, I ended up basing a lot of my time writing up stories and comics based on the franchise involving my character as he grew more and more, learning new things and discovering new feelings. It is something I still identify with to this very day.

That's why this game is up here, because it just means a lot to me personally. It isn't that great, some would say even bad (I wouldn't go that far), but the impact it left on me and my imagination is why I needed to include it on my list. For the record, I went with Explorers because that is the best one of the entire franchise.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:45 am 
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2009 - Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure

Around this time, I have finally gotten comfortable with the idea of trying new things if the premise is interesting enough, and man, I can't think of any other game that tried what Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure did. The game is described as a hybrid of platforming and puzzle, but they took that idea far more literally than most.

Henry Hatsworth, the highest ranking member of the Pompous Adventuring Club, is on a quest to find the pieces of the Gentleman's Suit, which can be used to access the puzzling world where hidden treasures and riches can be found. However, upon finding a golden bowler hat and putting it on, his age drastically decreases to that of a young man and monsters start appearing all over the world as the mysterious "puzzle realm" slowly tries to reach its way to the real world. Henry Hatsworth must quickly find the other pieces before things spiral out of control, though his rival Weasleby intends to get the parts first.

Using the DS's two screens, you can flip between the "real world" and the "puzzle world" with a quick push of a button. While in the puzzle world, time in the real world stands still, but the puzzle world is constantly moving, even when in the real world. The real world consists of your standard action platformer, where you can jump and use your sword/cane to attack various enemies. However, upon doing so, you don't actually defeat them, but send them to the puzzle world. When in the puzzle world, well, it's basically Panel de Pon/Puzzle League/Tetris Attack. The tiles slowly rise up, and you must clear blocks by matching three or more of the same colour, either horizontally or vertically. This is how you ultimately defeat the enemies that are sent back to the puzzle world. If you don't clear the blocks before they reach the top, the monsters will return to harass Henry Hatsworth once more. But the puzzle world also has access to other goodies if you can clear the right blocks, such as recovering health, attacking enemies on the real world, or filling up your "special meter", which can be used to power up Henry and give him access to firing projectile shots.

This game has a lot of fun just being absolutely ridiculous, and that's why I love it. The part that ultimately sold me was a short video when the game was just coming out that demonstrated a special action simply known as "Tea Time." After clearing a lot of blocks of enemies in the puzzle world, if you fill the special meter up to its absolute maximum, a button will appear on the bottom screen, and when pressed, will activate Tea Time. The action will freeze as our hero enjoys a cup of tea with other pompous British gentlemen as a short snippet of Mozart's "Turkish March" plays on piano, before switching to a heavy metal remix as our hero jumps into a giant mech made of gold that gives him access to a ton of powerful moves to destroy enemies with! It is as ridiculous and as awesome as it sounds, and that's just the start. The bosses range from a Fabio-like opera singer to a decrepit old man who is stuck in a wheelchair and must rely on his heavy-bound nurse. It's hard not to at least smile at the sheer absurdity of the game.

If there is one detraction, however, it's that after World 2, the game becomes very unforgivable, with obstacles becoming very hard to avoid and enemies really hurting Henry. If the difficulty was toned a fair amount, this game would virtually be perfect. Still, if you can get over that incredibly bizarre difficulty curve, this game is a pure joy to play and, dare I say, a jolly good show, old bean.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:51 am 
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2010 - Monster Hunter Tri

My first Monster Hunter title, and like for at least a few who first tried it out, I had this initial reaction: I didn't like it, because I really didn't understand what I was doing. The long slog to when things get interesting and you start to grasp the fundamentals of how to play really put me off...at first. But like some things in life, with enough patience and dedication, I came to actually really like this series, and it all began with Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii.

Our newest Hunter (that's you) has arrived on Moga Village, a small coastal village, where they are currently being plagued by unusual and devastating earthquakes. The believe that the cause of this is coming from a large monster known as the Lagiacrus, and so they hire you to come and save them from this threat. However, you happen to be a bit of a fledgling Hunter, so you've got to sharpen your skills and craft some better gear before you can challenge this threat and save Moga.

Monster Hunter is a game of intricacy and patience. Some would say that the combat feels sluggish or slow, but that was a deliberate design choice. You aren't super powered beings of awesomeness, you're regular men and women wielding massive weapons used to slay creatures that are several stories tall. Everything feels weighted the way it should be and it becomes a game more about watching what the monster does and less about just attacking. One small misstep could cost you the mission. This can be a major put off for a lot of people, and I can understand that. But for me, that's kind of part of the joy of Monster Hunter. You have to actual learn and understand patterns of monsters, see how they move and when they are most vulnerable, and your weapon is an extension of yourself.

It's a game of repetition as well. Fighting the same beasty over and over again to get the right parts needed to craft the better armor/weapons can seem daunting, but it is a necessary evil, I feel. The more fight the same monster, the better you are at seeing the patterns coming, and the better you become and hunting in general. Armor can only save you so far. When you get down to it, it's your own skills and knowledge that will save you. It's much more of a thinker's game than you think. And every time you down one, you always feel like such a badass by the end of it.

But of course, the most fun anyone can have that any Hunter will tell you is to go and play with friends. Getting online with a couple of buddies to take on even more challenging monsters can make for a great afternoon as you try to increase your Hunter Rank as high as you can go, fighting things that a solo player couldn't possibly take on without a ton of dedication. And I will say this: The community is probably the most friendly and helpful in all of gaming. While the majority are known for being rather toxic or elitist (and that's not to say MH doesn't have any of that), for the most part, fellow Hunters just want others to hunt with them, probably due to it being a bit more niche in North America compared to Japan, where the series is massive. It feels more personal.

And my journey all began here, with me taking on a Lagiacrus using a Great Sword in Monster Hunter Tri.
...Swimming was kind of bad, though...

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:33 am 
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2011 - Pokémon Black/White

Posting this just in time for a new Pokémon generation to begin! This is actually, as of this writing, my favourite Pokémon generation of all, #5, begin with the games Pokémon Black and Pokémon White.

Up until this point, Pokémon has always been about the Pokémon themselves, as you would expect it what with the entire franchise being named after them. However, with this generation, it seems to be taken more of a turn but making the humans who stand with them a far bigger focus than ever. I'll get into detail in a bit, but let me just get a few things out of the way.

Of all the gens, Black/White introduced the biggest number of new Pokémon ever, at 156, breaking the initial record of 151. Part of the reason fo this was due to the fact that you couldn't encounter any old favourites until after the main story as the devs wanted people to have that same sense of discovery and wonder that Red/Blue provided to both old and new players alike. I'm not exactly sure how well that worked since a fair number of these beasties seemed a bit, how to say, uninspired and filled roles that were already perfectly fine with the older gen ones. I still like a few of them, but in terms of ratio, bigger does not always mean better. It also tried a few new ideas that didn't quite pan out. Seasons were more of an annoyance than anything since if wasn't the right season, you weren't getting that TM you needed. It also introduced Triple and Rotation Battles which seemed neat, but as of Gen 7, have already been phased out in favour of the standard Singles and tournament standard Doubles. And ultimately, it can feel super linear by the end of it all.

I had to bring attention to those points first because they are legitimate detractors to Black/White. But I am able to look past them, personally, because the thing that it does so very well in my eyes was its storytelling and putting more focus on the characters surrounding the Pokémon. As someone who, since 1998, had come to expect the same song and dance of finding 8 Gyms, defeating an evil organization, and then become Pokémon Champion, the plot here actually took me by genuine surprise.

It starts off as you'd expect: You get a starter from the Professor along with your two rivals and then go on your merry way to fill up the Pokédex and become Pokémon Masters. But it doesn't take long before things take a swing in a different direction when we are introduced to Team Plasma, who puts up an interesting question:

Why do we make Pokémon fight and work for us?

I have known some people who did equate the games to glorified animal fights minus the whole animal cruelty bit, so the fact that the "evil" guys are actually challenging this notion was already pretty interesting. Not to mention that their leader, a young boy named N, really fundamentally believes in his convictions, all the way to the point that each time he battles you, he releases his Pokémon that he caught on that Route. And unlike the Rockets and Galactics of the past, these guys are literally everywhere. Other Teams would just show up to harass a town for their ultimate plan only here and there (like, 3 or 4 gym badges) but Plasma was a constant threat. They seemed far stronger than any other Team up to this point., even if their ultimate goal didn't seem as earth shattering as, say, recreating the whole universe like Galactic wanted to do.

And this ultimately comes to its head when, at the time you would normally battle the Pokémon League Champion, N actually succeeds in his goal and is ready to declare everyone to release their Pokémon by order as the new Champion. In fact, by the end of it all and you are able to defeat him (and then one last enemy that was ultimately pulling the strings all along), this became the first and thus far only main series Pokémon game to run the Credits WITHOUT you being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

And that's just one aspect I absolutely adored. It's not just N and the other members of Team Plasma that got much more character added to them. Your rivals also get some much needed development when it comes to them deciding what exactly they wanted, with one such even having to confront her own father, who didn't want her to leave the house on a Pokémon journey. The Gym Leaders were also much more active, with every city giving you a glimpse as to what they are as normal people living their daily lives as opposed to standard NPCs just sitting at a Gym waiting to battle. The game even took steps to try to make things more streamlined by making the HM moves not required at all to finish the story (save for one instance of Cut), which for those who don't like carrying HM Slaves all the time, was actually pretty huge.

But yeah, ultimately, with the memorable cast of characters and relatively simple, yet serious, storyline, Pokémon Black/White really set a high bar for what I want in a Pokémon game going forward. A bar I hope Sun/Moon, which are out today, can top.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:21 am 
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2012 - Xenoblade Chronicles

My favourite RPG of all time and the last great game to come out for the Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles was a journey I almost didn't take due to how daunting it was, but ever so glad I did.

In fact, initially I only bought the game more or less to send a message to Nintendo of America. Now, I did hear it was good, but ultimately, the choice was brought about because of a little thing called "Operation: Rainfall." What had happened was that, at the end of the Wii's life, very few games were being localized for a North American audience, so a group of fans tried their best to bring attention to NoA to let them know we want more games. See, while games like Xenoblade Chronicles had already been released in Europe and Australia in 2011, there was no word of a NA release date. Eventually, NoA said they would finally release the game, however, there were two things: One, the English localization would be exactly the same as Europe's, complete with British accents, and two, it would be released in limited quantities exclusive at GameStop/EB Games. Since I was so dead set on wanting Nintendo of America to want to try new things (I am particularity salty that we never got Mother 3), I preordered the game just to make a statement. Seems to have worked pretty well, actually, since the game actually sold best in NA and now Shulk, the main protagonist of the game, is in Smash with a sequel also available on Wii U without any wait this time.

Enough history. Let's look at the game itself. The setting is a very intriguing concept. Many eons ago, two great Titans, the Bionis and the Mechonis, battled one another over a vast sea until nothing more than their lifeless corpses remained. However, as time passed on, new life emerged to live on the remains of the Titans: the flesh and blood people of Bionis, and the mechanical beings of Mechonis. And the two are engaged in an everlasting war against one another. The people of Bionis seemed to have no hope against these warring machines, save for one sacred blade: The Monado, the only weapon capable of defeating these machines. Originally used by the soldier Dunban, the power of the Monado overwhelmed the forces of Mechonis, but at the cost of Dunban losing use of his right arm. Some time later, the Mechon returned to attack Colony 9, home of our protagonist Shulk, a researcher. After Dunban is unable to continue to use the Monado any further without risking death, Shulk takes the weapon himself and discovers that, with its power, he is able to see into the future, allowing him to predict enemy attacks and major events, including seeing the death of his childhood friend Fiora before it happens. Even though he tried to warn her, her life was lost, and after much of the Mechon was forced to flee Colony 9, Shulk and his friend Reyn set out to seek revenge for Fiora and to stop the Mechon once and for all, taking the Monado with them.

The gameplay, at first, was super daunting. The game, even by really good players, is said to last over 100 hours, and for good reason. There are side quests littered everyone in this grand world, and while you don't need to do them all to experience the story, they do help in building up your characters as well as getting smaller story details. There is an absolute boatload to do in the game if you want to complete absolutely everything and will take a lot of patience and time to get through. When I first found this out, I shelved it for some time until I watched some videos of it and decided to give it another go.

I could describe this game kind of like a single-player MMO. You've got a number of side quests that involving collecting and killing monsters and the battle system plays a lot like one, with abilities and cooldown periods thrown throughout. And the combat can get pretty fun once you fully understand it, especially Chain Attacks where choosing the right attacks can deal a lot more damage than normal. And do I even need to mention just how gorgeous the whole world looks? Even by Wii standards, it still looked really great.

But, like any good RPG, it's really the story that sells it here. What I described was just the beginning of this adventure. Along the way, you'll meet a wonderful cast of characters that I've come to really adore and there are a few twists and turns that made it very different from what I had initially expected and that not everything appears so black and white.

It was 100 hours of my life, but 100 hours that was very well spent.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:49 am 
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2013 - Fire Emblem Awakening

A bit of history to go with this one. Whiel Fire Emblem was mildly successful, it never did get its start in North America until the seventh game released on the GBA in the early 2000s. Even though it gained some fans, the franchise wasn't really doing much for the company, and so they had to take a brave gambit or drop the franchise into the abyss. And they managed to find their footing with Fire Emblem Awakening.

While various Fire Emblem games will often rotate where the game takes place to keep the stories and characters fresh, this one takes place in the same universe as the original one, where Marth hails from, though its been many centuries since his time. Chrom and his band of Shepards come across an individual laying on the ground (default name is Robin) and lend an aid. After dealing with some bandits, they encounter bizarre humanoid monstrocities known as Risen, who try to relentlessly attack Chrom and his Shepards. However, they are saved by one identified as the Hero-King Marth himself and warns that a great danger is coming if they do not protect the Fire Emblem. The plot only becomes more complex from there, involving time travel and betrayal.

The gameplay is very much like the original games, though much more streamlined. Everything is quicker, tutorials show up on the bottom screen as necessary, and there are even more difficulty options for those who were intimdated by the game's infamous permadeath system (if a unit in your army dies, they are gone forever, but Casual let's you cotinue using them after they fall in the next chapter).

And I can't keep talking about this without also bringing up its expanded Support System. Not only are you no longer limited to just 5 Support Conversations per character for the entire game, but you can also gain what are known as S Supports, which can lead to marriage and a new chapter involving their offspring coming from the future to help in the current timeline. I'm sure some hardcore fans were really bothered by this change, but many people fully embraced the concept, allowing for even deeper customization than ever before, and ultimately, making this one of the most successful Fire Emblem games to date, saving the franchise from certain doom.

A great title for beginners while still offering some fresh content for classic fans, Awakening is a must play.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:17 am 
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2014 - Shovel Knight

As we progress further and further with our graphics and processing power, sometimes, you just want to go back to a simpler time, with more simplistic sprites, more simplistic sound files, more simplistic stories... And that's where Shovel Knight comes into play!

Designed deliberately as a call back to the 8-bit era of video games of the mid-late 1980s, Shovel Knight stars the titular hero who brandishes the most knightly of weapons: the shovel! He traveled together with Shield Knight, but had lost her due to a cursed amulet at the Tower of Fate. Shovel Knight left the land in grief, and during his absence, the evil Enchantress and her band of knights, known as the Order of No Quarter, spread evil all across the land. Now, Shovel Knight has returned to bring justice back. For Shovelry!

Everything is played out as simply as you can. You have movement and two main buttons for jumping and attacking and that's it. Even the very controls menu shows an NES controller! Because the controls are so simple, actually playing it feels just as simple, with "guides" and "tutorials" being done through gameplay as opposed to text boxes. For example, Shovel Knight can "pogo" his way on enemies and objects to bounce up and reach higher places, and this is showcased in a singular screen where nothing more than a bubble floats in mid air for him to pogo off to explain to players one of its purposes. And this form of game design is spread throughout the game as Shovel Knight finds more abilities to use in his journey, a very good example of show, don't tell. By letting the player figure out how to do things themselves, it better teaches them instead of a giant text box explaining everything.

The level designs themselves are also a treasure to explore. The game is quite difficult, but never at the point of feeling unfair. Even in areas where the screen is literally pitch black save for our hero himself, they still manage to balance it enough that every death feels like, "That was my fault," as opposed to, "That was a cheap shot!"

Honestly, the only knock I'd give it is that the game looks too good. I say that only because NES games never had backgrounds and colours that which Shovel Knight displays. It most definitely does not detract from the game itself and is still very fun to dive in, it's just that for a game that is so purely based around the gimmick as being a lost 80s treasure, it didn't quite go far enough. Still, everything else was pretty much pitch perfect. The sound effects, the music, even the few dialogue boxes that do occur are very much simplified using a standard computerized font in a black text box with white font colouring. It's great how far they went with this game, feeling like a big smorgasbord of several classic games rolled into one.

Shovel Knight is the Indie Success Story other Indies try to aspire to be. It has received wide acclaim, has appeared on multiple platforms, and even has its own amiibo, the first ever non-Smash Bros. 3rd Party in the entire collection! There have been many developers that tried the "retro" style feel, but only Shovel Knight has managed to get it the closest while still remaining a solid game all throughout.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years,, 30 Games
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:41 am 
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2015 - Ori and the Blind Forest

Some of you may remember last year's Top 10 I did...and this title did not appear at the top. I had my reasons and I still stand by them, but doing this project gave me a lot of self reflection about what it is that I loved about the games I put as my absolute favourites for each year, and I came to the conclusion: Ori and the Blind Forest meets those practically to a tee.

First, it has a rather lovely, if simple, plot. Our little forest creature Ori gets lost in a storm and is raised by Naru. Over time, the Spirit Tree sends out a single to Ori to try to get Ori to come back, but Naru shields Ori from harm. Soon, the forest begins to whither after the Spirit Tree's light died out. With little food left, Naru ends up dying from starvation and Ori is forced to leave the only home it's ever known. Seemingly collapsing on the forest floor, Ori's revived by the last bit of power the Spirit Tree can muster. Ori soon comes across Sein, who was ripped from the Spirit Tree, and wants Ori to restore the forest back to what it once was so that life may flow through it again. But while it sounds simple at first, things become rather complicated once you learn the truth behind the Spirit Tree's light and why the forest became blind.

Another thing I noticed thinking back was that the gameplay of Ori was absolutely solid. Jumping around and performing abilities just feels really good, especially the Bash ability, which changes just how you look at it as a platformer. And let's not forget that I have previously stated that I am a huge fan of "Metroidvania" games, which Ori very much is, though with a minor mistake in that you couldn't backtrack to certain areas (that was what ultimately held it back originally).

It is also absolutely stunning to look at, like a moving painting. Something I found while looking back at the games was that I also praised a game's graphics if it happens to have a good art direction as opposed to just high poly count, and Ori has some of the best out there.

But the thing I learned most of all was that each of the previous 29 games I mentioned are ones where I asked myself, "Will I play this again? Yes, yes I would." And of all the 2015 games, Ori and the Blind Forest is definitely one I can say that to. And I did, enough times to get every single achievement, even the ones that required near perfect precision.

This wasn't the only year where I was changing my mind about what my favourite game of the year was. This was a constant thing I was doing throughout the entire project. It was a bit of self reflection about what it is I love about video games. And it all falls into place right here with Ori and the Blind Forest.

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Last edited by The Great B-Man on Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 Years, 30 Games
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:32 pm
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Location: Lively Town
And that will do it. Those are 30 of my favourite games over the past 30 years of my life. Tomorrow will officially begin my first day at age 30 and I look forward to what the next 30 years of video games will provide us.

This was quite the journey I went on, and I am glad for all of you that walked it with me.

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