Monday, March 16, 2009

Check out this website

Check out this website for some pretty cool random stuff. It's run by a friend of mine. There's some free music to download.

My All-time Favorite Video Games

I decided to make a list of my top 15 favorite video games of all time (and then some honorable mentions). This is taken from a note I originally wrote on Facebook. On my list, after the video game's title (at least for the top 15) I put the genre, the company, and what platform I mainly played it on. Also, expansion packs (which is what is after the "/" on some games) and DLC all count toward the original game. So here is my list:

My All-time Favorite Video Games:

1. Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn/Throne of Bhaal
RPG, Fantasy
Bioware/Black Isle
The best RPG I've ever played. Great story, even better characters. This game has enough content and re-playability to keep even hardcore gamers busy for a long, long time.

2. Neverwinter Nights/Shadows of Undrentide/Hordes of the Underdark
RPG, Fantasy
The single-player was good, but what really made this game special for me was the online. Being able to create your own world online and then have other people play it while you joined or DMed was simply amazing. This game was one of the first MMORPGs (that I know of), and it was free.

3. Oblivion
Action, RPG, Fantasy
Xbox 360
Great fantasy game with unique level up system and great character customization. Runs really smoothly and really lets you get immersed in the huge world. Great graphics. The only thing that wasn't that great was the combat.

4. Fallout 3
Action, RPG, Science fiction
Xbox 360
Much like Oblivion, but much better combat (I love V.A.T.S.), and a very different world. Where Oblivion had lush forests, snow covered mountains, and sprawling cities, Fallout 3 is a desert-like world that has been destroyed by nuclear war and huge amounts of radiation. Very well made game.

5. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
RPG, Sci-fi
Great story, and one of the best plot twists ever. Character customization was great too (especially if you're a Star Wars fan). Very good cast of NPCs.

6. Madden 06
My favorite sports game. I put countless hours into years and years of multiple franchises, and somehow I never got tired of it. This was the peak of Madden games (IMO) before they decided to redo the whole system for the next-gen consoles in Madden 07. I still play this game more than any other Madden (I own 09 too), even with the badly outdated rosters.

7. The Orange Box
Shooter, Horror, Sci-fi, Puzzle
Xbox 360
What can you say about The Orange Box? It's kind of unfair to the other games on this list, seeing how it's actually 5 games in 1. I still haven't completed Half-Life 2, but I'd have to say it's probably my favorite shooter (with Bioshock in a close second: see below). Portal is sheer genius, and GLaDOS has to be my favorite villain ever in a video game. My only problem with Portal is how short it is and how you cant download user made content on the Xbox 360. Team Fortress 2 is probably the weak link of the group, but it's not a bad game. The class based multiplayer is fun, but it doesn't have dedicated servers, and not many people play on Xbox Live anymore. Also, I never liked how each map has only one type of game that can be played on it (capture the flag, territories, etc.)

8. Bioshock
Shooter, Horror, Sci-fi
2K Games
Xbox 360
Great shooter. The setting of this game (Rapture) is completely awesome, and so is the mood and ambiance of the game. Good mix of guns and super powers, and who can forget fighting the Big Daddys? I felt the story/plot twist was a little weak, but the game itself plays great. Also, this game has the best intro/opening of any game IMO.

9. Mass Effect
RPG, Action, Sci-fi
Xbox 360
Great RPG with a great story and character customization. I thought the combat could get a little annoying, but overall a very enjoyable experience (like most Bioware games).

10. Jade Empire
RPG, Action, Fantasy
Another great Bioware game, but unlike their previous RPGs, this was an action RPG, meaning that you actually controlled your character during combat. Once again, a great story with great character customization. Also, another great plot twist.

11. Super Mario RPG
Nintendo/Square Enix
Super Nintendo
My favorite game growing up. I still usually play through it once a year on an emulator. Great combat system, and probably my first experience of an RPG. Also a pretty humorous game at times.

12. X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
Action, RPG, Comic
Activision/Raven Software
I love the X-Men (especially Cyclops), so I was already biased toward this game. A great cast of characters you can pick from, and a good mix of an action "beat 'em up" game with RPG elements and great character customization/level up process.

13. Left 4 Dead
Shooter, Horror
Xbox 360
Another great shooter from Valve. L4D is very light on plot, but that's the point. It's the online multiplayer (especially versus mode) that keeps me coming back to this game. This game is beautifully simple.

14. Baldur’s Gate I/Tales of the Sword Coast
RPG, Fantasy
Bioware/Black Isle
Another great RPG (especially for its time). Not as much character development and interaction as BG2, but this game laid the foundation and has a good story and a well made world (Faerun) to explore.

15. Warcraft III/The Frozen Throne
RTS, Fantasy
A good story mode, though I haven't played that much of it. I mainly played this game online with friends, and have some great memories from doing so. Also, the fact that this game is still played by millions of people today (along with Starcraft) and has a ton of mods and user-created game types speaks for how well-made it is.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Marvel Ultimate Alliance (Xbox 360)- Not as good as X-Men Legends II, but a good superhero beat 'em up game with a cool cast of characters.

Star Wars: Battlefront II (Xbox)- Really fun TPS (third person shooter) with great levels and the ability to go from land to space and vice-versa. The vehicles and heroes are awesome too.

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2/Xbox)- Fun hack and slash game.

Icewind Dale II (PC)- A good RPG that I played a lot. The story and characters dont measure up to BG2, but still a fun game with good combat.

Civilization: Call to Power (PC)- My introduction to turn based strategy. More simple than most civ games, but still enjoyable.

Starcraft/Brood Wars (PC)- Great RTS. Still played all over the world today.

Super Paper Mario (Wii)- Going from 2D to 3D whenever you want is pretty awesome. It makes for some very interesting puzzles/combat. Also a funny game with well-written dialogue.

Super Mario World (SNES)- Flying with the yellow cape was revolutionary at the time. This game also introduced Yoshi.

Donkey Kong Country (SNES)- A great side-scroller with amazing graphics for its time.

Super Mario Kart (SNES)- The beginning of the Mario Kart Franchise.

Pokemon Red & Blue (Game Boy)- Almost everyone played this. Leveling your Pokemon and catching new ones was always a lot of fun. And you could trade with/battle your friends.

Mario Tennis (N64)- I cant wait for the release of this on the Wii virtual console. Well made game with great characters and controls. There were some pretty intense matches of this in college.

Mario Kart Wii (Wii)- The latest Mario Kart game. Adds a lot of cool features.

Braid (Xbox 360)- Great puzzle game. Really cool story with deep characters, but not in the way that usually means. You really have to play this game to understand why it's so great.

Myst (PC)- Awesome puzzle game. Who would have thought that a game where you are the only person around the whole time could be so interesting and captivating?

Rock Band (Xbox 360)- Played this a lot in college. Still my favorite collection of songs in a game (until Beatles Rock Band comes out).

NFL Street 2 (Xbox)- Fun, over the top sports game. Own the City was a really cool game mode.

Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)- The start of the Halo series, I played a lot of great system link games my first year of college. I also loved the pistol, which was never quite the same in the games following.

Perfect Dark (N64)- Awesome shooter with great weapons, co-op play, and the ability to play with bots. Way ahead of its time.

Star Wars: X-Wing (PC)- Star Wars space flight simulator. The A-Wing was always my favorite to fly.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert (PC)- Used to play this online a lot through a dial-up connection.

Age of Empires (PC)- Another great RTS game.

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (NES)- A really old school RPG with close to no graphics, but still fun.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360)- Great shooter that plays really well. Has a solid story with good characters, and the multiplayer leveling system is very deep and really well done.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Game Boy)- The only Zelda game I ever played all the way through. Was a lot of fun. I liked that hook-shot.

So, there you have it. Feel free to comment/disagree/agree with me on anything, or even post your own list if you have time. PLEASE NOTE: I am not saying that these are the best games ever made. They are just my personal favorites.

Start Me Up

I've decided I'm going to try blogging a little bit and see what happens. On this blog, I will write about whatever I'm currently interested in. This will usually include things like video games, sports, music, movies, and anything else I feel like writing about. This isn't going to be a Xanga or any sort of diary. Feel free to comment on any of my posts, hopefully this will eventually spark some interesting conversation.