My Top Video Games: The Best of the Best

Over the past few years, I have been ranking the top 10 games on most of the systems I own. Now it is time to rank the game that I chose as number 1 game from each of these, to find out who the best of the best is! I’ve already talked about each game, so I will just attach a link to their respective original posts if you are interested in the games they beat out and such.

 

#15

Sonic & Knuckles

Sonic_&_Knuckles_cover

Sega Genesis

Sonic Team/ Sega

1994

 

 

#14

Metroid II: Return of Samus

Metroid_II_US_boxart

Game Boy

Nintendo

1991

 

#13

Mega Man X4

mmx4

PlayStation

Capcom

1997

 

#12

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Jedi_Academy_PC

PC

Raven Software/ LucasArts

2003

#11

inFAMOUS

Infamous-cover

 

PlayStation 3

SUCKER PUNCH/ SCEA

2009

 

#10

Super Mario Bros. 3

Super_Mario_Bros._3_coverart

 

NES

Nintendo

1990

 

#9

Metroid: Zero Mission

Metroid_--_Zero_Mission_(box_art)

Game Boy Advance

Nintendo

2004

 

#8

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Bowsersinsidestorycover

DS

Alphadream Corporation/ Nintendo

2009

 

#7

Super Mario World

Super_Mario_World_Coverart

SNES

Nintendo

1991

 

#6

Super Mario 3D World

super_Mario_3D_World

 

Wii U

Nintendo

2013

 

#5

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

smash brawl

Wii

Game Arts/ Nintendo

2008

 

 

#4

Super Smash Bros. For 3DS

smash 3ds

3DS

Bandai Namco Games/ Nintendo

2014

 

#3

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

ocarina_of_time_box_art

N64

Nintendo

1998

#2

Kingdom Hearts II

kh2 cover

PlayStation 2

Square Enix

2006

 

 

#1

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

paper mario tyd

GameCube

Intelligent Systems/ Nintendo

2004

 

 

And there you have it!

This isn’t a list of my favorite games of all time, but just my favorite game from each system.

Is This the End of Humble Bundle As We Know It?

For those who don’t know, Humble Bundle is a website that used to give you bundles every couple weeks of 10-15 games for just as many dollars, with part of the money you spend going to a charity of your choosing. Nowadays they have a huge store with some great sales usually, book bundles, software bundles, comics, all sorts of stuff.

But where have the game bundles gone?

For the longest time they have always had two different game bundles available, with a new one replacing the older of the two each week. But for the past month or two, there has not been a single game bundle put up on the site.

Now, most of these bundles are garbage. 90% of the time they are just lame indie titles, but occasionally they do have really good bundles, and I myself indulge in maybe 3 of them a year or so.

I looked forward to seeing the new bundles each week, even though they are almost always disappointing. But when I found that one I wanted, it made all those months of waiting worth it.

So, with the game bundles barren, are they strictly just going to be a game store nowadays like Steam? I certainly hope not.

While we wait for an answer to this sad question, gamers will have to go to fanatical.com for their ridiculously cheap bundles.

How Can People Consider the “Spin Off” Kingdom Hearts Games Not Part of the Actual Series?

In the hype leading up to KH3, I have seen a lot of people argue that the hand held games are not relevant to the series at all. These are mostly those macho “hardcore” gamers who wouldn’t dare play anything on anything other than the shiniest, manly console, thus they say only the numbered titles are the actual series.

I can understand where they are coming from. The three numbered games stick to the same formula (with huge improvements to gameplay as they go on). And they are the 3 best games, as I show in my ranking of them. So in those terms, I get what they are saying. But to just write off the others, which also have superb gameplay, is just ridiculous.

And then many others say the handheld games are not even important to the story, thus the spin off term coming into play.

This is just an unbelievably stupid thing to say and makes those who say it look incredibly ignorant. Yes, we get that you haven’t played the games. Leave it at that. Don’t keep talking about it, because the fact that you haven’t played them takes away your right to talk about them, for how can you judge what you haven’t played?

But if you want to follow the story, you will be woefully lost playing just 1, 2, and 3. I played 2 before Chain of Memories, and while I got the gist of what was going on after a while, it was confusing for a few hours. But that was just from one game. There are 4 games that came out between 2 and 3, all which set up everything that was going on in 3. Playing just the numbered games, you wouldn’t even know who 90% of the characters are. Ventus, Terra, Aqua, half the organization members, the main villain…all not important people at all. And even people you do know, like Axel and Roxas, you would only have a recognition of them and no little to nothing about their actual characters.

I’m sorry, I just get a laugh out of these folks is all.

Nintendo eShop Prices Must Come Way Down If They Ever Hope To Compete

I love the Switch. I especially love that it’s getting like every game ever ported to it. But if Nintendo ever hopes to bolster software sales, they’ve got to do something about their prices.

I would prefer to buy all my games possible on Switch, just as I always tried to do with Wii U, because these consoles typically offer an opportunity to play these games in a unique way you can’t find anywhere else.

But I don’t see how Nintendo can hope to compete when Sony are constantly running huge sales, and more unbelievably low prices can be found on PC with Steam, Humble Bundle, and a plethora of other DRM’s or sites that make a habit of not only selling games at ridiculously low prices that people can actually afford, but also giving away free games.

Many games that I wanted to get for Switch I wound up getting for PC, because they are always on sale for like 3-10 dollars, versus Switch prices which on sale will still be over $20.

In fact there is a game on Switch on sale for $40 right now that I want. But the near identical version for PC is a mere $5.24.

It’s hard to justify holding out for the Switch prices to drop when I can get them for next to nothing on PC consistently.

So help us out, and really, yourselves too by dropping some of these abysmal prices.

Kingdom Hearts III- The End of Something I Have Cherished Most of my Life

Don’t worry, this post contains no spoilers.

I fell in love with Kingdom Hearts the second I played it. It came to me at the right time in my life. I had always wanted to like RPG’s but for the most part found them far too unnecessarily complicated with all the materials, controls, traveling, stats, and spells. I wanted to love them, for I like big stories with a bunch of characters and all that, but it was never worth the time getting to learn the complicated systems of the games.

Then Kingdom Hearts found me when I was around 12 or 13 years old, and I had been delivered what I had always hoped for. An RPG that takes all the best elements and dumbs them down significantly, while combining it with action adventure, my favorite genre.

On top of the ridiculously clever gameplay and opportunity to visit places from the movies I watched so often growing up, I found there was an incredible story being told throughout, making the series original characters some of the best fictional characters I have ever seen, somehow completely overshadowing the beloved Disney characters.

I beat the game and loved it. When KH2 came out, I had missed Chain of Memories and found the story all quite confusing and overwhelming at first, but despite having no idea what was going on, by the end of the game, I gathered the gist of it and realized I had just finished one of the best games I have ever played, with THE best story line, told in a positively convoluted, confusing, and delightful way that I adored.

bbs knights

I remember beating it, watching the secret movie for BBS and wondering what the heck it could all possibly mean. The moment I beat the game, I immediately took to the internet to research Kingdom Hearts 3 and when it would be coming out. Little did I know that I would be waiting for over a decade.

But that’s not to say we weren’t treated to nothing in all that time. Firstly, I immediately got hold of Chain of Memories, which helped ease some of my confusion, but then I still waited for several years to get a new game…a DS game by the name 358/2 Days. Immediately I loved it just by reading the title, it was so ridiculously cryptic and weird, the things I love about KH. This game finally told us what all that Roxas business in the beginning of the second game was about, and gave us a deeper look into all the black coated fiends you slaughtered in the two previous games.

Kingdom Hearts Organisation_XIII

Then to my delight we were treated to another game, Birth By Sleep, less than a year later. But I soon found myself despairing, for it was a PSP exclusive, something I didn’t own. But forget that, I needed to play it. At last I would learn what that secret video from KH2 was all about, so I bought the KH special edition PSP solely for that game and still have no regrets in doing so. I played this game for hours upon hours. I don’t even want to know how many.

And then again in a year, we got another game that finally told us what the message in a bottle said at the end of KH2 and at long last advancing the story beyond 2, not a prequel to it.

3 games in the span of a year. We were finally being rewarded for all our patience.

Then we had to wait nearly another 2 years for the game that set us up for 3, the big one, the conclusion.

khdddgp

After completing Dream Drop Distance, I had that same feeling I did when I first beat KH2. But the PS3 came and went with no KH3 to be seen.

Finally, after a 7 year wait, the game is released and I couldn’t believe it when I started to play it. And then I found I couldn’t stop. Finally, after a week, I beat it and the conflict that started back when I was 12 years old has finally been concluded now, when I am 29, nearly 17 years after the first game.

I loved the game, and I loved the ending, but now I feel so empty. What do you do when something you have looked forward to for more than half your life ends?

Yes, there is more to look forward to, but it’s like I have finally grown up. The 12 year old kid in me has finally moved on, vanished like a heart disappearing up into Kingdom Hearts. I am ecstatic that I beat the game, yet at the same time, was so terrified of beating it the closer I got to the end.

I realize this is just a video game, but the story and it’s characters have always meant so much to me, beyond any book, game, movie or any other form of media has ever reached me.

I feel similar every time I beat a Kingdom Hearts game.  It’s like spending time with those characters was something truly great to me and the time I spend playing these games will always be cherished. But like how Sora has to say goodbye to his friends every time he leaves a world, I too must close this chapter on my life, and make room for a new adventure.

So I guess I am trying to say, thank you Tetsuya Nomura for bringing to life such a fantastic story, Square-Enix for making such a fun game, and Disney, for allowing them to use your characters to kill a bunch of monsters.

If you make one person feel the way I do about KH, on any form of media, for any product, then the creators of that media have done their job and should be proud.

Thanks again, I can’t wait to see what else you bring us!

kingdom hearts kairi_and_sora_wallpaper_by_vamp4ever22-d4jlz2d

Is A Good Lock-On Target System In Video Games Really That Hard To Accomplish?

Think about it. Think of all the games that use a lock on mechanic. Starting from like Ocarina of Time to pretty much every action game since. The worst part is…Ocarina of Time is probably one of the better systems out there.

Z-targeting_(Ocarina_of_Time).png

Seriously. How many games have you played where the lock-on system is more a frustration than anything? If you have multiple enemies in view or in the room, you will most likely lock on to the one you want to target the least, probably some enemy barely on screen and so far away that none of your attacks have the slightest chance to hit him. You can try to change the target, say, to the enemy standing right next to you or in front of you, and you will painfully lock onto anything but that one you desperately want to kill as it’s wailing on you, steadily taking down your life.

There are dozens of games that have this problem, but I can’t think of many off the top of my head. But if I went through my games, rest assured I could pick out quite a few.

The first one I can think of is Kingdom Hearts. The lock on system suffers from the problems I just described. It’s so bad that the only time I use it is on a boss or highly mobile enemy when all the others are dead. This way the camera will follow your target.

Thankfully this is remedied sort of by the fact that you don’t need to lock onto enemies, because when you attack, the character will automatically attack something you are facing instead of just swinging the keyblade pointlessly. This is especially helpful in the later games, when something is far away, you will do a crazy jumping attack to reach them.

But two of the worst games I can think of that I have played recently are Hyrule Warriors and Megaman Legends 2.

hwl

Hyrule Warriors, you try to lock onto something nearby, and you will end up targeting something halfway across the battlefield. You press the button to switch targets, and it will bounce around to the four least desired enemies you want to target, constantly going back to the initial first target you didn’t want to begin with. Sometimes you have to scroll through these enemies four times before it finally locks onto the enemy right in front of you. I believe there are other frustrations out of this, but I haven’t played it in like a year, but I know I was always cursing at the abysmal system.

mmlegends2-11

Megaman Legends 2, I have to say, has the absolute worst lock-on system I have ever seen. This is not a hard game, honestly, almost every time I died was because of the lock on system.

The game claims it will lock onto the closest enemy. This is simply not true. You lock onto anything it feels like. To switch targets, you have to release the lock-on button and press it again until you get the target you are searching for.

This effect also happens every time you get hit. When you take damage, you stop targeting for a moment, despite still holding the button. When you recover, he locks onto a new target as if you intended to switch targets. You will even target things in different rooms or through walls. Many times in the cheap, annoying game, you will be surrounded by enemies out of nowhere, or get attacked immediately by a swarm of them the moment you walk into a room. You try to fight, but you are constantly getting hit, switching targets rapidly so that your view is spinning all over, all the while being bounced around, unable to move, and before you know it you are dead.

And if enemies have a projectile that you can lock onto, like a missile, then you better pray you don’t get hit. There are some enemies that you fight that constantly shoot missiles that fly all around. All you want to do is shoot the missile spewing guys, but can’t because there are tons of little guys jumping into you, and then your targeting bounces around to all the missiles, not the little guys hitting you or the missile launching a-hole standing directly in front of you. After a vomit inducing camera ride, you are dead.

Yes, Legends 2 absolutely takes the cake when it comes to bad targeting systems. If that is the reason you are getting killed in a game, then you know it is a complete failure.

Kingdom Hearts Series Ranked

In celebration of the extremely long awaited Kingdom Hearts III (it’s hard to believe it’s nearly here) I am going to rank all the games from worst to best in my opinion. I will just be listing the base games, not all the Re:this or that or Final Mix versions and compilation games.

So without further ado, here we go!

 

*UPDATE 2/8/19* Added Kingdom Hearts III to list.

#10

Kingdom Hearts Unchained X

2016, Mobile

Times Beaten- N/A

This is a mobile phone game where you collect and upgrade medals of characters from Kingdom Hearts, Disney, and Final Fantasy. You use these medals to perform special attacks. The more powerful you become, the more quests you can take on and the more rewards you will reap. It is a never ending soul sucking game, but I continue to play it everyday…such is my devotion to Kingdom Hearts. For a free to play game, the devs are extremely generous in giving you a lot of stuff, and overall, it’s probably the best mobile game out there.

#9

Kingdom Hearts .2 Birth By Sleep

– A fragmentary passage-

2017, PlayStation 4

Times Beaten- 1

This is a brand new entry included in Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (rolls right off the tongue) that takes place right after Birth By Sleep and uncovers a lot of mysteries leading up to Kingdom Hearts 1. Well some mysteries anyway.

This is actually a fantastic game, which really gives us a taste of what to expect from Kingdom Hearts III. The only reason it is so low on the list is because of how short it is (less than 3 hours).

#8

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

GameBoy Advanced, 2004- PlayStation 2, 2008

Times Beaten- GBA 2, PS2, 2

This, gameplay wise, is not very fun. The game itself is very long, especially with the Riku story. It wouldn’t be so bad if the card system was better, but it is so annoying to have your cards broken all the time, making the game very grindy and monotonous. The story is very interesting however, which makes it all worth it, taking place immediately after the first game.

#7

Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded

DS, 2011

Times Beaten- 1

Taking place right after KH2, this takes us on a very unusual journey with some rather differentish gameplay. I wasn’t all that crazy about this one, and the story did little for the overall arc.

#6

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

DS, 2009

Times Beaten- 2

This is where the games really start to get incredible. This varies the gameplay up a bit, having you run missions for Organization XIII. There’s an awesome multiplayer where you can play as all the members, and the story, which takes place during the later end of 1, all of CoM and leads directly into 2, fills in a whole lot of confusing things that occur during CoM and especially 2. And the game is incredibly fun to boot!

#5

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

3DS, 2012

Times Beaten- 2

Taking place after Re:Coded, this one takes us right up into KH3. The gameplay is quite good, the story rather mindblowing, and the dream eaters…meh…Fortunately the game is so stinking fun it’s easy to forget about the constant care of those needy creatures. And for the first time, you switch off between playing as Sora and Riku, which is most welcome.

#4

Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep

PlayStation Portable, 2010

Times Beaten- 4

I have easily put the most time into this game. Taking place like 10 years before the first game, you play as 3 wannabe keyblade masters and experience how each of them is set on a different path that leads to nowhere good. The story, gameplay, and skill customization is wonderful. This is the reason I bought a PSP and have no regrets.

#3

Kingdom Hearts

PlayStation 2, 2002

Times Beaten- Around 5

I can still remember playing this for the first time after refusing to have any interest in it for over a year. When my brother convinced me to play it, I fell in love immediately. The story gripped me so, the Disney characters were awesome, seeing them kill stuff was even more awesome.

As far as gameplay goes, this has some of the worst in the series, but it still holds up enough. It was the first in the series so it gets a break. It’s still a great game and one I still get excited about playing.

#2

Kingdom Hearts II

PlayStation 2, 2005

Times Beaten- Around 4

This is by far and away the best game in the series. The gameplay is absolutely perfect. There are so many abilities to use that keep it fresh, but even just mashing the X button is highly satisfying. The story is as wonderful as ever, leaving us all dying to see what happens next, until Re: Coded came out that is. This is definitely a masterpiece to go down in history.

#1

Kingdom Hearts III

PlayStation 4, 2019

Times Beaten- 1

The conclusion to the Xehanort saga, this game focuses on Sora and company looking for all the other characters that have had relevance in the series. It’s a fun ride, with interesting connections and reasoning for going to each world, whether it be a clever connection to the world itself or the characters themselves. There are less worlds, but they are much, much bigger.

The best part of this game is that it takes the gameplay of KH2, and just makes it better, with all sorts of wild attacks and transformations that are awesome looking, on top of being powerful. I couldn’t stop playing the game. It is so much fun and so diverse. Well worth the wait!

And that’s it!

If you have never played these games, I highly recommend getting the story so far compilation and prepare to have your mind blown with exceptional gameplay and a crazy, amazing story.

I Must Contest The Term “Metroidvania”

Metroidvania, for those who don’t know, refers to any video game that resembles the basic formula/ set up of your basic old school Metroid or Castlevania title. More specifically, any non-linear platformer that has an emphasis on item collecting, traversing with the use of a map if needed, exploring, unlocking secrets with your new items to open new paths or find more items…etc. That’s basically the gist of a Metroidvania game.

My issue with this term comes from this…Castlevania basically ripped this formula from Metroid. So wouldn’t it just be considered a Metroid-like game?

Now I haven’t played many of the older Castlevania titles. I played 1-4, and then Symphony of the Night only like a year ago (as far as the older ones go). That is when I realized why people had been saying “Metroidvania” for so long. The game was set up just like Super Metroid, except you use a sword. So the only reason I can see “vania” being tagged on is for games that use close ranged weapons rather than a gun.

I don’t know, it’s really not relevant in the slightest, but hey, I thought I’d just point it out. It’s almost like Castlevania is riding on the coat tails of Metroid’s more successful type of platforming, not that Castlevania needed any help I guess…

My Top 10 PlayStation 2 Games

PS2 is the best selling console of all time, and really is a much better console than the PS1, though still far from my favorite, but I do love it anyway. I have 55 games for the sequel console and have played 41 of them so far. So which are my top 10? Let’s take a look!

#10

Mega_Man_X8_Coverart

Mega Man X8

Valuewave Co., Ltd/ Capcom

2004

The last game in the X series is pretty solid and a huge step up from 7, bringing back more of the roots of the series.

#9

king kong

Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie

Ubisoft Montpellier/ Ubisoft

2005

I was gifted this randomly by someone and I thought it was going to be terrible like most movie games are. But it turned out to be an exciting, unique mostly first person shooter, and you even get to play as Kong on occasion which were great segments. A very solid and fun game. Now I know why…I had no idea it was made by Ubisoft.

#8

ps2_call_of_duty_2_big_red_one_gh_se

Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

Treyarch/ Activision

2005

This is by far my favorite Call of Duty game. It was made in the height of first person shooters, a few years before their decline. So in addition to that, what really set this one apart for me was the story, or rather the character development of your group of soldiers. You actually get to learn about the people in your squad and develop an attachment of sorts to them, making you actually feel like part of the team. This has never been done before and never has again…as far as I know anyway.

#7

DBZ_Tenkaichi_3_Cover_2

Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Spike/ Atari SA

2007

This is easily my favorite Dragon Ball game of all time, and mainly because of the enormous roster. I can always sit and play a few matches thanks to the endless amount of characters, crazy attack moves and transformations.

#6

khcom

Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories

Jupiter Corporation/ Square Enix

2008

A full remake of the original GBA game, this version of the first sequel to Kingdom Hearts is quite impressive. Thanks to the clever use of cards, this is one of the best strategy games out there. But it’s easily the worst game in the KH series, mainly because it’s very slow moving, grindy and getting your cards broken all the time is super annoying. But it has a great story and introduces a butt load of important characters.

#5

bf2

Star Wars: Battlefront II

Pandemic Studios/ LucasArts

2005

This is definitely my most played game on PS2. I played the crap out of it. Alone or with a friend, this game is so much fun. There’s nothing like whittling away a few hours by blowing up space ships or slaughtering armies of droids or troopers.

#4

gow

God of War

SCE Santa Monica/ SCEA

2005

This game set the standard for all future action games. Smooth, responsive controls, exhilarating combat, light puzzle solving, banging chicks, killing gods…this is the most macho game ever, and Kratos is easily the most bad ass character ever created. Such a fun game. Oh, and a good story.

#3

gow2

God of War II

SCE Santa Monica/ SCEA

2007

This game doesn’t F around. You start with everything you had in the first game and just get stronger. All the perfection from the first game is brought back and somehow improved upon, making this one of the best games ever made.

#2

kh cover

Kingdom Hearts

Squaresoft

2002

I was hooked the moment I played this game. This was the best RPG I ever played at the time, because it took all the good stuff from the genre and left out all that complicated crap. The gameplay is excellent, the game satisfyingly challenging, and the start of the best story ever. Oh and the incredible wacky idea of combining Disney and Final Fantasy is geniusly bizzare.mIt’s hard to believe that 16 years later, we still have not seen the conclusion of said story.

#1

kh2 cover

Kingdom Hearts II

Square Enix

2006

And here is my favorite PS2 game of all time! This game makes the first one look crappy beyond belief when compared to this one. It is hard to believe just how much they improved this game over it’s prequels. It’s just so good…the story, the world’s, the gameplay…my god the combat is so much fun. This is the only game I can think of that I would willingly grind just because it’s so much fun to kill stuff. It’s just a masterpiece…sniff…

 

 

 

All These Classic Mini Consoles With Pre-loaded Games Need To Stop!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of re-releasing old consoles in a miniature form for all the people who missed them. But most of them are quite pointless since you can get most of these games on every system for the last 2 generations, except for the upcoming Sega Genesis Classic. But even that, there have been so many Genesis collections that it is completely redundant.

Why not, instead, do these video game companies just release a dedicated mini console that has nothing preloaded on it at all? Instead just let it have an internet connection to something like the PlayStation Store or Nintendo eShop where games of that console can be purchased for cheap. Instead of being forced to have 20-30 games, why not give gamers a huge selection, ideally eventually getting the whole libraries of these systems on there. Yes, I know that is an unrealistic amount of work, but it’s better than releasing the same classic games over and over again on every new console, scamming people into buying them multiple times.

Imagine just buying a cheap NES Classic with no games. You plug it in, hook it up to the internet, search for a game you want, and bam! it is there. Now you have the liberty of searching for every game that ever came out on the system, and you have it forever. If these companies continued to support these mini consoles, then there would be no need to re-release these games every few years on different consoles.

It would be great to buy an SNES classic with nothing preloaded onto it, because I have almost every game on the classic. Instead of buying games I already own, I can search for the games I missed and play them on a dedicated SNES platform where I can digitally buy any SNES game ever made.

Right now I am at the mercy of what has been ported to Wii and Wii U, or else finding a very old copy on eBay or a very expensive copy.

Just think of these companies as physically re-releasing these consoles all over again, and now you have the ability to buy any and all the games you desire, on a system that is capable of running with today’s technology. And if possible, have it able to play all the old cartridges and disks from the original system, which would mean compromising the “mini” part to an extent, but oh well, that’s something we are not really worried about I would venture to say.