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Robio's Top 100 of All Time
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Tue, 13 Nov 2018 00:07:47

And going forward things are going to be a little familiar for anyone that read the top 28 list I made 5 years ago (though to be honest I can't imagine how any remembers what was on it). There are 5 and a half new games on it though. Three of them hadn't been released when I did the list 5 years ago. One is being replaced by another game in its series, that I look at a little more fondly these days. It could have really been a coin toss, but it's getting changed. And one was a game that I left out by a mistake, and still confuses how I did that. And that one half of a change.... well you'll see it when we get there.

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Tue, 13 Nov 2018 00:20:27

I can't wait. Duck Tales is a great pick.

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Tue, 13 Nov 2018 20:36:28

Not a fan of Duck Tales. Bland levels, and imprecise controls. (I may have just been crap, but I was in no way inspired to try to get better).

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.
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Sat, 17 Nov 2018 15:46:41

#28. Hero's Quest/Quest for Glory: So You Want to be a Hero

The Quest for Glory series was one of those defining series for me throughout middle and highschool and hell even into college. At a glance it looked like any other standard PC adventure game, but this one had something unique going for it. It was also doubling as an action RPG. You chose a character class, assigned some skill points, and then while solving the adventures as you would in regular games, you would occasionally come up against an obstacle that you needed to improve your skills upon in order to pass. For instance, early in the game you need to retrieve a ring for the local medicine woman that had been stolen by a bird. If you're playing as a thief the most direct way to get it is to climb the tree, but your climbing skills need to be practiced before you could climb all the way up. It added an extra element to the game that most adventure games didn't have. It's a fairly common feature today, but it was pretty unique at the time. On top of that there was combat (not the strongest feature in the game, though it got better in later installments), a day/night cycle that made it necessary to plan your day and revist certain areas at particular time, a great story, and a sense of humor that was clearly written by someone who was a huge Monty Python fan (seriously, they actually ripped off the "what is the airspeed velocity of an unladened swallow" question from Holy Grail).

The whole series was amazing, and I can't tell you how many hours I spent playing this first installment, let alone the entire series. Of course you had to play as each of the three character classes to get the full experience, but each new installment allowed you to import your character's data from the previous one and bring it over to the new game. Everytime that happened I would start the series over from the beginning just to try to bring an uber character in with nearly maxed out stats. It was really a completely ridiculous thing to do, because you could spend about an hour in the game practicing your skills and get close to the same level as if you brought a powered up character from a previous game, but that hardly mattered. They were all fun. But there was something very special about the original. As the series went on and the stories went to a grander scale a few things didn't work out quite as well as when the game was focused on a small alpine village and the hero was only concered with rescuing the kidnapped children of a local baron.

Ironically, as much as I loved the Quest for Glory games, I never played the 5th and final installment. The husband and wife team that made the first four games divorced and the publisher, Sierra On-line, was bought by another company. When the 5th was finally developed by the new owners they took the game into a very different direction and it just didn't seem the same anymore. But, I'm still grateful for the first four games, and despite knowing the game down to the last pixel, I would still spend a day playing through the original if it was offered up to me/

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Sat, 17 Nov 2018 17:00:25

Looks neat but I never played it. Did you ever play Chronicles of the Sword? I bought that one as my first Playstation game back in 96 because I had just gotten back into gaming after a few years away from it, and I thought the box looked amazing. I enjoyed it at the time but years later I noticed it reviewed pretty poorly. I was all about anything to do with King Arthur and such.

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Sat, 17 Nov 2018 19:09:44
No, I never played this. The box art does look familiar though. The only Arthurian game I ever played was Conquests of Camelot, which is actually a predecessor to one of the first games I put on this list, Conquests of the Longbow.
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Mon, 19 Nov 2018 02:31:55

Very interesting, never heard of the game.

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Sat, 24 Nov 2018 18:55:47

Hey no breaks for you!

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Sat, 24 Nov 2018 19:18:58
Sorry I'm on vacation. I'll start back tomorrow.
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Mon, 26 Nov 2018 00:53:35

#27. Wizardy 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant

Wizardy 7 was a massive sci/fi and fantasy RPG. I don't know the total hours it took to complete because I was constantly restarting to keep finding a better team combination, but it's safe to say I put in well over a hundred hours in it. Your little team found itself caught up between different races that were at war with one another, and some that were even fighting amongst themselves, all the while trying to stay ahead of this mysterious being called the Dark Savant that had a reputation for fucking shit up. As someone who had only played console RPGs, this was different on every level. I'd later find out it was pretty innovative in its own right too. It had a giant highly detailed world that required the players to do a lot of exploring, a diplomacy feature that later would be emulated by many other games, and it was also one of the first RPGs to have the players actively competing with the NPCs. There were key items in the game that other characters in the game were after, and if they beat you to it, you'd have to even be a super skilled negotiator or you'd have to get ready to fight. And god knows fighting with NPCs rarely works out well.

The summer I was 15 years old was Wizardry 7 was pretty much my life, and it was unlike any game I had ever played before. It was basically a D&D dungeon crawler, both of which were foreign to me aside from the one time I played an actual game of Dungeons and Dragons with my cousin and his friends when I was 6 years old and died within minutes when a giant centipede ran over me. Fortunately Wizardry 7 was a much better experience fortunately. It forged my love of games with giant character class rosters as well as dungeon crawlers. My life was pretty much listening to a sports talk radio station (that oddly talked very little about sports), and playing this game from dawn to dusk. No other game mattered that summer. How devoted was I to playing this game? In the middle of July the air conditioning broke in my family's home in Atlanta making it hot and horribly uncomfortable in the home, but particularly upstairs where my PC was. Even with the blistering heat and humidity I kept playing that damn game.

Oddly enough the game's conclusion is told in Wizardy 8, which is also the final game in the series and the final game that the developers SirTech ever made, and I have still never played it. There was almost a 10 year gap between the two games, and I just never got inspired enough to give it a shot. After writing this, I have to admit I'd tempted to jump onto Steam right now and fix that.

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Wed, 28 Nov 2018 00:04:48

#26. Legend of Mana

Poor misunderstood Legend of Mana. People were expecting another generic "rag-tag group comes together to save the Mana Tree from being destroyed" storyline, and when that wasn't the case they flipped their shit and blackballed this brilliant game. This game was so much more. This was about an entire world full of small stories, and depending on how you laid out the different lands in the world changed how and when you would experience them, and in some cases IF you would even experience them at all. Some were grand stories about the destruction and resurrection of an entire race of creature while other stories were much smaller like finding a young girl's broom. A host of NPCs would join you and in turn you'd learn more about them. And if you wanted more help you could raise monsters or build golems to fight alongside you as well. As you'd fight, you'd gain access to new weapons that would come with a variety of special moves. The third game in the Mana series offered up a large degree of customization based on who you'd chose for your party and what class changes you'd pick for them, but nothing was like this. No two people would go through this game the same.

Legend of Mana is one of those games that every few years I keep coming back to. There's just so much to this game and everytime I come back to it I discover something new. A new story pops up that I never found because I didn't lay out the lands in an optimal way or I'd unlock new spirits with different items in the blacksmithing chamber. Not to mention it's worth going back just for the soundtrack and the watercolor painted backgrounds. This game is a work of art, an amazing experience and just fun to play. That's a combination that rarely seems to happen.

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Wed, 28 Nov 2018 01:19:48

I think I played a bit of Legend of Mana back when it first came but I’m not really sure. I bought this off PSN and have it on my PS3. I really should get to playing it one of these days.

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Wed, 28 Nov 2018 02:43:20

I loved Legend of Mana, and used to play it a lot with one of my cousins; but we never got very far. I should try again someday.

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.
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Wed, 28 Nov 2018 03:26:12
The combat in the game is a little janky by today's standard. Hell, I think it was kind of considered that way when it came out. But, aside from that I think everything else about the game holds up if you want something with a challenge and a lot of depth.
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Wed, 28 Nov 2018 21:25:27

Legend of mana looks really cool. Unique games like that makes this list informative.

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Thu, 29 Nov 2018 01:37:16

All right that settles it. Legend of Mana for the next group game play. $6 on PS3.

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Thu, 29 Nov 2018 02:19:18

#25. Darkest Dungeon

When I first heard about Darkest Dungeon in Game Informer I was intrigued. It was described as a Lovecraftian RPG where you had to manage your party's physical health as well as their mental health. When I played it though, I was completely taken in by it. Every other game I had fell to the wayside because I needed to play this delightfully depressing game. And god damned was it ever depressing. You've been tasked with bringing a once glorious town back from the edge of despair and making it great again. Basically an old ancestor got involved with some cult and utterly ruined his lands while drinking, having orgies, and trying to bring Cthulhu back into the world. Definitely really fucked shit up. So now you manage a troupe of adventurers (often leading them to their demise, but that's fine because you can always find more) in attempts to kill off troublemakers and reclaim lost treasures. Sounds easy. It's not. Lots of video games feature flawed heroes, and Darkest Dungeon is no different. But in this game those flaws affect your fighting. Greed, fear of the dark, fear of other teammates and lots of other things can lower your morale and once that happens your team members can turn on each other and become as dangerous as the monsters your fighting. If it drops too low then may just up and kill themselves. It's all delightfully morbid really.

I logged over a hundred hours into this game. The first 40 hours were me just learning how to play the game and essentially starting over once I learned that your party should be treated like pieces of meat rather than valuable team members that you should care about. But at no time did I grumble when I started over. Darkest Dungeon was fun from the get go, but once I really got a handle on what I was doing it really became an entirely different experience. And no matter how bleak and depressing my surroundings or team got I never stopped having fun with it. In fact, it's actually kind of fun at times hearing how badly your old ancestor fucked up his village.

And just in case anyone is reading this and making notes, this is a game that is a much better experience on the PC rather than consoles due to how you control your party members. That said, the Switch and tablet version are likely also a very good versions due to the touchscreen controls. So get it on any of those.

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Thu, 29 Nov 2018 02:26:37
robio said:

All right that settles it. Legend of Mana for the next group game play. $6 on PS3.

I’m good to go.

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Fri, 30 Nov 2018 00:29:50

#24. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Zelda Through the Looking Glass. Zelda on Acid. Whatever you want to call Majora's Mask, it inevitably has something weird attached to it. And hey why not? It was a Zelda game that required you to explore the world and explore it through a 72 hour window. Plus when you throw in aliens, the world's most dedicated mailman, a creepy moon crashing to earth, and all those wonderful and bizarre masks.... well weird is ultimately the only word that really does the game justice. But as weird as it is, it's pure quality the entire way. Every strange idea plays into the overall theme of the game and makes it absolutely wonderful.

I've picked it up a couple different times over the years. I bought it at launch when it came out on the N64. I still have my VC copy that I also bought the day it was released.  But my Gamecube copy was probably the best example of how much I loved the game. When I first got my Gamecube it came with the Zelda collection that included Majora's Mask. Unfortunately it didn't come with a save card. And since it was Christmas Day I didn't have a lot of options on getting one. But even knowing I wouldn't be able to save my game I still popped it in a proceeded to play for most of the afternoon and evening. It didn't matter that my progress would be tossed out the window. I was getting to replay my favorite game in the series, and having to replay the first 6 hours of Major wasn't going to be much of a chore.

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Fri, 30 Nov 2018 01:24:40

Not sure to be happy or upset at that placement. Best Zelda indeed!

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